It seems spring is finally here - the BeeSpotter team has begun seeing bumble bee queens out and about! The first one we spotted was on April 2 at Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois. It was flying around in an area with a few blooming Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and common periwinkle (Vinca minor). It was the only queen observed that afternoon, and was an early emerger relative to the availability of flowers blooming. It was either B. griseocollis or B. impatiens - unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of that one, but we do have photos of a Bombus impatiens queen and a Bombus bimaculatus queen, both taken this past weekend!
This is an excellent time to get out and start spotting bees, as you're more likely to spot a queen at the beginning of the season than any other time!