Bombus distinguendus is a relatively late-nesting bumblebee species, active between May and September throughout its range.
In the late spring, queens (large females) emerge from hibernation and found colonies by rearing a brood of workers (small females) in an underground nest. These workers then take over the foraging and rearing of further worker broods as the colony grows until the end of summer, when broods of males and young queens are reared.
Mating takes place outside the nest and queens enter hibernation underground for the next year.
Queens of successful colonies live for a year, but workers and males live as adults for about four weeks.