Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


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Native prairie

Photo by Tamara Smith; USFWS


Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Guidance for Land Managers

Please see below if you are a land manager or private landowner interested in information on how to manage, restore, or enhance your property for the rusty patched bumble bee.


Is the rusty patched bumble bee on or near the land I manage/own?

Check the map to determine if your project or action is in a High Potential Zone (red area on map) or Low Potential Zone (yellow and blue areas). 


How do I survey for the rusty patched bumble bee?
Survey guidance and best practices can be found here.


How can I manage my land to help conserve the rusty patched bumble bee?

Review the Conservation Management Guidelines for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). This document provides voluntary management guidance to help land managers manage their land to benefit the rusty patched bumble bee. Much of this guidance is focused on management of natural areas; however, many of the same principles can be applied to urban areas. This conservation guidance also addresses the habitat needs of other pollinators, including other bumble bee species.

Review the Habitat Assessment Guide. This guide can help conservation planners and landowners in prioritizing conservation actions and quantifying habitat and land management improvements for the rusty patched bumble bee on their land.  It is intended to help incorporate conservation efforts for the species into a landscape management plan and then identify actions for habitat improvement and management practices to help protect the rusty patched bumble bee from potential threats.


If you complete a Habitat Assessment form, please submit to the USFWS Field Office near you. These forms are useful for land managers to assess their property and learn more about rusty patched bumblbe bee habitat needs and stressors, but they are also being used by the Service to determine areas to direct focus and funding for habitat enhancement and expansion.


Webinar on Habitat Assessment Guide (links to an online recorded webinar)

This is a recording of a webinar that helps explain how to conduct an assessment and use the form. Please skip to minute 14 and 30 seconds. We are not able to edit the recording and the first 14 minutes is chatter about getting the webinar set up.


What plant species should I plant to enhance or restore my land with the rusty patch bumble bee’s habitat needs in mind?

Plants Favored By Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

PDF of Midwest Plant Guide Adobe PDF Icon


These lists include:

  • main plant species that the rusty patched bumble bee has been documented using,
  • plant genera that include the previous plants and related species within the specific geographic range (e.g., Great Plains), and
  • to ensure blooms that span the seasons, we included a few other species that we know are favored generally by bumble bees.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Home

Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: August 20, 2018