University of Vermont researcher’s data could prove critical to rusty patched bumble bee’s recovery

University of Vermont researcher’s data could prove critical to rusty patched bumble bee’s recovery

By the 1990s, one of the most prevalent bees apparently got removed from the state, but the federal government has received some data from a University of Vermont researcher that may prove significant for the recovery of the bee.

Well known as the rusty patched bumble bee, the bee is scientifically called bombusaffinis. The name of the bee has been put forth for the federal protection via the Endangered Species Act due to the efforts of Leif Richardson, UVM postdoctoral research assistant.

On Wednesday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed naming the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species. According to scientists the fall of the insect was abrupt and well-documented, but they don’t know the precise reason behind it.

The Fish and Wildlife Service mentioned in its report that the data for the analysis majorly came from the work done by Richardson.

Richardson, co-author of a North American bee identification guide, mentioned that while writing the book, he collected thousands of records of bee observation. Richardson said that from this data, the Fish and Wildlife Service relied on some hundred of the observation records and determined that the species could be in need of more protection.

Richardson is an ecologist who researches on bee declines and the link between bees and flowers. He added that every summer he collects thousands of bees and found one of the last known rusty patched bumble bees of Vermont.

In 1999, he discovered it in Huntington. Richardson added that it was among the two bombusaffinis specimens spotted in Vermont that year.

He said, “I’ve looked for it every year thereafter. I collect thousands (of bees) every summer. It was never seen again”.


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