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Endangered Species Program
Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)
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?
Follow the links below for guidance on your specific situation.
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
Follow the links below for more about rusty patched bumble bees and their conservation.
New! Conservation Management Guidelines
Voluntary management guidance to help FWS, other federal agencies, state agencies, private landowners and land managers manage their land to benefit the rusty patched bumble bee and other pollinators.
The rusty patched bumble bee's life history is similar to other bumble bee species. Bumble bees live in colonies that include a single queen and female workers. The colonies have an annual cycle.
Listed as Endangered
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.
Species Status Assessment
Last updated: March 12, 2018