Species Profile

Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee

Scientific Name: Bombus bohemicus
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2014
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

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Image of Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee


Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.



PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

4 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee Bombus bohemicus in Canada (2015)

    Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus bohemicus) is one of six cuckoo bumble bees (subgenus Psithyrus) occurring in North America. Both sexes are medium-sized (12 – 18 mm length), with a white-tipped abdomen and similar colour pattern. Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee is an obligate social parasite of bumble bees of the subgenus Bombus in North America, including the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (B. affinis) (assessed Endangered by COSEWIC), Yellow-banded Bumble Bee (B. terricola) and Western Bumble Bee (B. occidentalis) (both currently being assessed by COSEWIC). Cryptic Bumble Bee (B. cruptarum) may also serve as a host. Due to recent analysis of DNA barcode and morphological data, the formerly recognized species Bombus ashtoni was found to be conspecific with the widespread Old World species Bombus bohemicus.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee (2015)

    This large and distinctive bee is a nest parasite of other bumble bees. It had an extensive range in Canada and has been recorded from all provinces and territories except Nunavut. Although not known to be abundant, there has been a large observed decline in relative abundance in the past 20-30 years in areas of Canada where the species was once common, with the most recent records coming from Nova Scotia (2002), Ontario (2008) and Québec (2008). Significant search effort throughout Canada in recent years has failed to detect this species, even where its hosts are still relatively abundant. Primary threats include decline of hosts (Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, Yellow-banded Bumble Bee, and Western Bumble Bee), pesticide use (particularly neonicotinoids), and the escape of non-native, pathogen-infected bumble bees from commercial greenhouses.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2013-2014 (2014)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to "assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species". COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 0 Endangered: 23 Threatened: 12 Special Concern: 20 Data Deficient: 0 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act : Terrestrial Species - January 2015 (2015)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments byApril 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website