Black and Gold Bumble Bee (Bombus auricomus)
A very big Black and Gold Bumble Bee (Bombus auricomus) I found on some of my Sedum plants. Bumblebees are social insects that are characterized by black and yellow body hairs often in bands. Another obvious characteristic is the soft nature of their hair, called pile, that covers their entire body, making them appear and feel fuzzy.
Queen and worker bumblebees can sting, but unlike a honey bee's, a bumblebee's stinger lacks barbs, so they can sting more than once. Bumblebee species are normally non-aggressive, but will sting in defense of their nest, or if harmed.
The agricultural use of bumblebees is limited to pollination. Because bumblebees do not overwinter the entire colony, they are not obliged to stockpile honey, and are therefore not useful as honey producers.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro mounted on a Canon XTi.