The genetic population structure of the bumble bee Bombus pascuorum was studied using six microsatellite loci and a partial sequence of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b. Eighteen populations from central and northern Europe were included in the analysis. Observed levels of genetic variability and heterozygosity were high. Estimates of population differentiation based on F- and Φ-statistics revealed significant genetic differentiation among B. pascuorum populations and suggest that two partially isolated gene pools, separated by the Alps, do exist. The distribution of mtDNA haplotypes supports this view and presents direct evidence for gene flow across the Alps. Estimates of the number of migrants exchanged among populations north of the Alps suggest that historical events may have left a strong imprint on population structure.