Endangered Species
Midwest Region

 

 

Map of the eight states in the Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

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) on a flowering leadplant.

Photo by Sarah Warner; USFWS

 

Help Prevent Extinction of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

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. Some of these actions are listed below. Once accomplished, we expect these actions will have laid the groundwork for future recovery of this bumble bee.

 

Habitat improvement, research and outreach/communications about threats provide opportunities for conserving the rusty patched bumble bee.

 

Map of Areas for Priority Actions

 

Flowering yellow and purple coneflowers, black-eye susans and prairie grasses growing in an urban prairie.

Photo by Kim Mitchell; USFWS

Service biologists along with bumble bee and conservation biology experts have mapped priority areas for habitat assessments, habitat improvement and surveys.

 

Map of Areas for Priority Actions

 

 

 

 

Priority Actions

Habitat Protection and Improvement

  • Conduct habitat assessments at priority grid locations. Please submit completed habitat assessment forms 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.
  • Conduct site-level, management and/or large-scale habitat improvements. The results of the priority habitat assessments can be found on the Map of Priority Areas. Click on a grid to see the Habitat Assessment results if an assessment has been conducted. 
  • Develop roadside pesticide application guidance that prioritizes Bombus conservation.
  • Develop guidance for the public and pest control groups to educate them about the importance of maintaining Bombus nests and if necessary, how to safely remove/move Bombus nests (not removal of B. affinis nests).

Research

There are several key research questions that the USFWS and our partners would like to answer to better conserve this species - some of these questions are listed below. Contact your local USFWS office if you are interested in conducting research on rusty patched bumble bee.

 

  • Conduct research on the nesting habitat needs of the rusty patched bumble bee (or closely related surrogate Bombus species) to inform restoration projects in priority areas and inform potential future reintroduction and propagation efforts.
  • Conduct research on the overwintering habitat needs of rusty patched bumble bees (or closely related surrogate Bombus species) to inform restoration projects in priority areas and potential future reintroduction and propagation efforts.
  • Conduct research on the disease and pathogens that are currently affecting rusty patched bumble bees (or surrogate Bombus species) to learn what/how is currently affecting the species. Determine how to address disease and pathogens.  This research may also inform potential future reintroduction and propagation efforts.
  • Conduct research on the floral preferences needs of rusty patched bumble bees (or closely related surrogate Bombus species) to help refine habitat restoration/creation in priority areas.
  • Conduct research on the foraging distance of rusty patched bumble bees (or closely related surrogate Bombus species) to inform habitat restoration/creation in priority areas (e.g., how much area is needed to sustain a healthy colony).
  • Conduct research on the dispersal of new queens and males of rusty patched bumble bees (or closely related surrogate Bombus species) to inform habitat restoration/creation in priority areas (e.g., how much area is needed to sustain colony interactions).
  • Conduct research on the effects of management practices on colony health (of rusty patched bumble bees or a closely related Bombus surrogate species) to inform management of land, restoration maintenance, and ESA consultations.
  • Conduct research on the effects of insecticides and fungicides on individual and colony health (of rusty patched bumble bees or a closely related Bombus surrogate species) inform land managers, ESA consultations, and potential future reintroductions.
  • Conduct climate change and RPBB habitat suitability modeling to help inform future recovery/reintroduction efforts.

Disease Control

  • Help to identify and develop general management practices that will minimize likelihood of epidemics occurring.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Home

Midwest Endangered Home

Last updated: February 13, 2019