Saturday, June 1, 2019

It's Official: A State Bee for Minnesota

Image result for rusty patched bumble bee

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Minnesota now has an official state bee: The rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis). 

It is also an endangered species, the first bee in all the lower 48 states to be so designated.

Governor Tim Walz, by signing bills passed by the 2019 legislature, made this designation official.

MPR reporter Dan Gunderson notes that "Before they nearly disappeared, the rusty patched bumblebee was among the top four or five most commonly seen bumblebees in the Midwest. Now it's found consistently in only a few spots, mostly around urban areas: Chicago, Milwaukee, Iowa City and Madison."

Gunderson introduces us to this beautiful bee here. It includes links, one of which I repeat below, and also some lovely photographs. 

Here is the link from Mr. Gunderson's essay to Bumble Bee Watch where you may report sightings. It is all about bees.

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