The common name of bumble bee possibly comes from their rather large clumsy appearance and /or the buzzing sound they make as they fly.
Adult worker body length about 1/4"-1" (6-25 mm) queens about 3/4"-1" (17-25mm) long robust in form. Color black with yellow (rarely orange) markings with overall fuzzy appearance including top surface of abdomen. Head with distinct space between base of compound eye and base of mandible. Hind tibia with apical spurs. Front wing with 2ndsubmarginal cell more or less rectangular about as long as 1stsubmarginal cell. Hind wings lacks a jugal lobe (lobe on rear margin near body). Stinger relatively smooth with small barbs.
Depending on the Bombus species the overwintering queen will select on appropriate nesting site the following spring. The queen of some Bombus species locate a dark cavity at least 3/4" (2cm) high by 1 1/8" (3cm) wide containing fine plant fiber such a nest is usually underground and often an abandoned mouse nest.