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Rare, endangered bee found in Appleton

A Lawrence University biology professor says the species hasn’t been seen before in Northeast Wisconsin
Rusty patched bumble bee on flowers at downtown Appleton home
Rusty patched bumble bee on flowers at downtown Appleton home(Lavanya Murali)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 12:52 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - An endangered bee has been found in Appleton.

Lawrence University biology professor Israel Del Toro says a Rusted Patched Bumble Bee was spotted at a downtown home on Wednesday, July 21. He says this species has never been seen in Northeast Wisconsin before.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists the Rusted Patch Bumble Bee, or Bombus affinis, on the endangered species list, making it federally protected. The wildlife service says the bee has lost most of its habitat of grasslands and prairies in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern U.S. due to the building of cities and roads, larger farms, pesticides and climate change.

Del Toro speculates that local efforts to save pollinators, such as No Mow May and gardening with native plants, may be helping this species recover.

Action 2 News interviewed Del Toro in April about the “No Mow May” campaign and conservation efforts and the “pollenablers” citizen scientist effort at BYOBeez.org. Watch:

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