Rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis)

This rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis) specimen was collected in 1915 in Milwaukee. Rusty patched bumblebees live in prairie ecosystems and collect pollen and nectar from a variety of plants. Once a common sight in Wisconsin, the northern Midwest, and the northeastern states, land use changes and habitat loss have caused a steep decline in rusty patched bee populations. The species was listed as Federally Endangered under the Endangered Species Act in January 2017. Along with over 3,000 other Apidae family bees, this bee has been photographed and had its label information transcribed. MPM's digitization efforts -- for bees and other natural history collections -- contribute to the growing network of specimen collections data available to scientists and researchers. Sharing data about our specimens helps scientists, landowners, and conservationists in their fight to bring the rusty patched bumblebee back from the brink of extinction.

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