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Bombus polaris

Bombus polaris is an Arctic bumblebee species.


The bumblebee has a circumpolar distribution, found in Canada, arctic Alaska, Arctic islands (Devon Island, Ellesmere Island, Baffin Island and Greenland), northern Scandinavia and Russia (Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets, Sakha and Chukotka).[1]


The bumblebee has dense fur that slows heat loss. The colouration is variable, but most often the thorax is black with orange-yellow edges, while most of the abdomen is orange-yellow, sometimes with a black tip. This bumblebee also hase a higher abdominal temperature than its temperate relatives.[2]

Bombus polaris is preyed upon by another, cleptoparasitic bumblebee, Bombus hyperboreus, which takes over the nests in cuckoo bumblebee fashion.[3]


Bombus polaris has a major part in the pollination of vegetation in the Arctic. Some plants they pollinate include arctic poppies, Arctic roses, and Arctic willows. These bees move their muscles quickly to warm their bodies. Predators include buff-breasted sandpipers, common eiders, and long-tailed ducks.[4]


  1. ^ Discover Life. "Discover Life map of Bombus polaris". Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  2. ^ "Bumblebees found in North America". Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  3. ^ Milliron H.E., Oliver D.R. (1966) Bumblebees from northern Ellesmere Island, with observations on usurpation by Megabombus hyperboreus (Schönh.), Can. Entomol. 98:207–213
  4. ^


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