Endangered Species
Midwest Region



Midwest Region State Map

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you


Endangered Species Program

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


Great Lake Restoration Initiative logo


Rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

Photo courtesy of Susan Carpenter; University of Wisconsin - Madison Arboretum


Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

Status: Endangered

Current Range: IL, IN, IA, ME, MA, MN, OH, VA, WI and Ontario, Canada


The rusty patched bumble bee has declined by 87 percent in the last 20 years. The species is likely to be present in only 0.1% of its historical range. There are many potential reasons for the rusty patched bumble bee decline including habitat loss, intensive farming, disease, pesticide use and climate change. With the odds seemingly stacked against the rusty patched bumble bee, there is a role for everyone in conserving this beneficial pollinator. Your actions will also help a host of bees, butterflies and birds that share resources with the rusty patched bumble bee.


What is your role?

Guidance on your specific situation.

highway right of way planted in prairie
purple coneflower
biologist identifying a captured bumble bee

Guidance for reviewing Federal and Non-federal Projects

Guidance for land managers and private landowners

Guidance for surveys, how to apply for scientific recovery permits, and research ideas


More about rusty patched bumble bees

range map
sunflowers and bumble bee
backyard pollinator garden



Conservation actions

Two rusty patched bumble bees on bee balm (Monarda fistulosa)
backyard pollinator garden
range map



Learn More

New! Help Prevent Extinction of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Rusty patched bumble bee on wild bergamot.

Photo by Kim Mitchell; USFWS


Service biologists are working with bumble bee and conservation biology experts to identify and carry out actions that can stop the downward spiral of this species and prevent its extinction.


Preventing Extinction Priority Actions

Map of Areas for Priority Actions




Midwest Plant Guide

Midwest Plant Guide

Photo by Tamara Smith; USFWS


Looking for ways to improve your property for the rusty patched bumble bee? This handy guide provides options to provide flowering plants from spring through fall.


Midwest Plant Guide for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Adobe PDF Icon





Listed as Endangered

Rusty patched bumble bee

Photo courtesy of Susan Carpenter;
University of Wisconsin - Madison Arboretum


Just 20 years ago, the rusty patched bumble bee was a common sight, so ordinary that it went almost unnoticed as it moved from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen. But it's now balancing precariously on the brink of extinction and has become the first-ever bumble bee in the United States to be listed as endangered.


Learn more »

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Species Profile





Species Status Assessment

Black-eyed Susans in prairie

Photo by Tamara Smith; USFWS


The status assessment is a comprehensive compilation of data available for the rusty patched bumble bee and an analysis of that data to evaluate the bee's viability now and into the future.


Species Status Assessment Adobe PDF Icon (June 2016)





Have you seen a rusty patched bumble bee?

Biologists taking photographs.

Photo by Jill Utrup; USFWS


Help scientists record occurrences of the rusty patched bumble bee. Bumble Bee Watch and Bee Spotter are citizen science projects that track bumble bees. Upload your photos of bumble bees and experts will verify identification and record the location.


Bumble Bee Watch

Bee Spotter

Wisconsin Bumble Bee Brigade

Is it a rusty patched bumble bee?





Rusty patched bumble bee Clay Bolt

Photo courtesy of Clay Bolt


The story of the rusty patched bumble bee decline documented in images and film.


The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee: the story of a declining pollinator links to Xerces Society story map


A Ghost in the Making: rusty patched bumble bee links to documentary by Clay Bolt

Last updated: August 17, 2018