pickerelweed flower beeOn September 21st, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee as an endangered species. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee represents one of 46 bumble bee species in North America and has reportedly seen an approximately 91 percent population decline since the early 1990s. It was once abundant in 28 states, including Kentucky, but is now located in 12 states including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, and other Midwest and eastern states. The USFWS has identified disease, pesticides, climate change, habitat loss, and small colony dynamics as threats which may contribute to the bees decline and proposed listing as an endangered species. The comment period for the proposed listing of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is open until November 21, 2016.


Josiah Frey is an Environmental Scientist at Smith Management Group. Josiah can be reached at josiahf@smithmanage.com