EnviroScience Now Permitted in West Virginia for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Survey

The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee used to be one of the most common bumble bees in the Eastern United States.  It has disappeared from almost all of its historic range and has been listed as federally endangered since 2017. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is the first bee in the continental United States to be federally listed.  Bumble bees are keystone species in many ecosystems.  These bees are generalist pollinators that nectar on a variety of flowering plants and directly contribute to the development of berries and other important animal food sources. For more detailed information about this critical species, see the USFWS fact sheet.

Rusty-patched bumble bee on culver’s-root at UW–Madison Arboretum. Photo: Susan Day/UW–Madison Arboretum courtesy of USFWS

EnviroScience biologists have a West Virginia Scientific Collection Permit issued by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources specifically for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee. We will soon have a federal permit to survey for this bee across its historic range as well.  EnviroScience biologists have completed habitat and presence/absence surveys using federal and state protocols in Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin to search for this rare insect.  EnviroScience will be using our permit mostly to detect and document the presence/absence of this bee and its habitat where required by state and federal laws and rules. Knowing where Rusty Patched Bumble Bees exist and where it is absent helps our clients design their projects to minimize impacts to species and their construction schedules.