Minnesota Wisconsin Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region



Minnesota Wisconsin Field Office
4101 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: 952-252-0092
Fax: 952-646-2873
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)

e-mail: TwinCities@fws.gov


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We work with public and private entities to conserve and restore Minnesota's endangered species, migratory birds, wetlands, and other important fish and wildlife resources.

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Feature Story

1st Annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count Project


A batch of 15 Winged Mapleleaf mussels, recently PIT tagged.

Rusty patched bumble bee.

Photo Courtesy of Christy Stewart.



September 30, 2019


The 1st Annual Backyard Bumble Bee Count took place July 13-21, 2019. Backyard Bumble Bee Count is an iNatualist citizen science project that was developed by the Service in partnership with various organizations and agencies committed to conserving the endangered rusty patched bumble bee and all bumble bees. The purpose of the Backyard Bumble Count is to enlist the help of those interested in documenting bumble bee occurrence and relative abundance in the eastern United States. Anyone, anywhere with an iNaturalist account can take part in this project.


Entries to the project require photos to verify identifications for each species at each observation location, along with numbers of each species observed and the length of the observation time. We asked participants to photograph and count bumble bees on one or more days of the 9-day event and report their sightings online at inaturalist.org or through the iNaturalist app. Each sighting and count submitted during the Backyard Bumble Bee Count helps researchers learn more about how bumble bees are doing and how to protect them and the environment we share.


There was a total of 614 bumble bee observations from over 90 observers submitted in the first year of the project. Also, 26 total species were observed over the 9-day observation period, with 2 new rusty patched bumble bee records!


Learn how to join Backyard Bumble Bee Count!


Contact Info: Jill Utrup, 952-252-0092, ext. 207, jill_utrup@fws.gov


Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Home





Last updated: January 22, 2020