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The golden-belted bumble bee (Bombus balteatus) is a species that is found in alpine environments all the way up to 14,000 feet. Their geographic range includes North America and northern Eurasia.
Bees that live high up in elevation are generally larger and have more hair on their bodies than lower elevation species. Some species of bumblebees that live in arctic regions will use conical flowers as a way to heat themselves up. The shape of those flowers is really efficient in reflecting the sun’s rays on to the bee when it’s lying in the cone.
These are adaptations that allow them to live in the colder temperatures and are why they have become important pollinators for alpine and arctic environments.
If you’re out on a hike, look for paintbrush, rabbitbrush, and bluebells for a chance to spot the golden-belted bumblebee doing some pollination!
Find out more about this species in my naturalist video! More videos on my YouTube channel: