Bombus insularis, f, back, Yosemite, CA
A hulking bumble bee nest parasite. Bombus insularis is another example of alternative bumble bee lifestyles. Usurping nests of other bumbles to raise their young. This one is found throughout the northern parts of North America and down the western mountains, but not the Appalachians. As witnessed by this recent specimen from Yosemite National Park the West still has this species, while I am not aware of recent specimens from the Northeastern regions of the U.S. Bumble bees have been crippled by recent pathogen introductions so it is hard to really say what is going on in terms of status sometimes. Claire Kremen's group collected this specimen. Photograph by Anders Croft Photography Information: Canon Mark II 5D, Zerene Stacker, Stackshot Sled, 65mm Canon MP-E 1-5X macro lens, Twin Macro Flash in Styrofoam Cooler, F5.0, ISO 100, Shutter Speed 200 USGSBIML Photoshopping Technique: Note that we now have added using the burn tool at 50% opacity set to shadows to clean up the halos that bleed into the black background from "hot" color sections of the picture.