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
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee
What You Can Do!
Most actions to help the rusty patched bumble bee will help other pollinators, including monarch butterflies.
Plant a mix of flowers. Rusty patched bumble bees are active from April through October (with some variation depending on how far north or south you are). Plant a mix of flowering trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants so that something is always blooming during that time. Native plants are a great choice.
Provide Flowers in Early Spring. The only bumble bees that survive winter are mated queens. All other bumble bees die before the end of the previous season. The survival of bumble bees rests on the shoulders of these queens as they wake from winter diapause, look for nest sites and start laying eggs. Flowers for pollen and nectar are critical. Try to include spring ephemeral flowers and spring flowering trees and shrubs to help the queens start new colonies.
Don't Mow and Rake. Bumble bees and many other pollinators (bees, moths and butterflies) need a safe place to build their nests and overwinter. During spring and summer, leave some areas of your yard unmowed. In fall, leave some areas of your yard unraked and leave plant stems standing in your flower beds.
Be Pesticide Free. Pesticides, especially insecticides, can harm pollinators. Herbicides reduce food sources by removing flowers from the landscape.
Detailed Habitat Management Guidelines
Farms, Golf Courses, Natural Areas, etc.
Take a Pledge to Protect Pollinators
Be a Citizen Scientist
Build Schoolyard Pollinator Habitats
State Pollinator Initiatives
Last updated: May 2, 2018