Rare and Federally Endangered Bumble Bee May be in Maine
A very rare pollinator may be buzzing around Maine, and scientists are asking the public to report any sightings.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is asking Mainers to be on the lookout for a rare and endangered bee. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee was last documented in Maine back in 2009. Since then, there's been no new sightings of the Federally Endangered bumble bee. The precious pollinator has a rusty-colored patch on the upper portion of its second abdominal segment.
Apiologists are hopeful the bumble bee is still in Maine, and encourage reporting any sightings through inaturalist.org or bumblebeewatch.org. The bee has reduced in numbers as much as 90% since the 1990s, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee was the first bumble bee to be protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
For photos and more information on identifying Rusty Patched Bumble Bees, visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.