Within Washington state, this species is most clearly an east side one. While there may be a sighting or two on the west side, over on the east side it can be relatively common.
This species clearly shows red on the abdomen. What makes it easy to separate from all others is that the red is on tergites T3 and T4.
- T1= yellow
- T2 = yellow
- T3 = orange
- T4 = orange
- T5 = black
Within eastern Washington, there are few other species that one might confuse with the Central bumble bee. One possibility would be if you encountered a reddish form of Yellow head bumble bee, B. flavifrons.
The red forms of B. flavifrons have a cloudy front thorax. The Central bumble bee has a yellow one.