bumble bee conservation


High country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus)

The Source of Hope and Wonder Comes in Small Packages

Published on September 10, 2019

One of our senior endangered species conservation biologists trekked into Washington state’s Pasayten Wilderness to find the elusive high country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus).


Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas Field Day – Grand Island, NE

Published on September 9, 2019

September 15th, 2019
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Mormon Island State Wildlife Management Area
Grand Island, NE

Join Katie Lamke, Bumble Bee Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, for this event in the field! The Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas is a new statewide community science project aimed at tracking and conserving native bumble bees. This project is a collaborative effort between the Xerces Society and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Whether you already participate in the Atlas or want to know more about the project, this is a chance for you to gain hands-on experience. Together, we will spend a couple hours netting, photographing, and identifying the bumble bees found at Mormon Island. There will be extra vials available, but please bring your own net!

Click here for more information.


Xerces Society Iowa workshop

Working Together in Iowa to Find the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Published on September 4, 2019

Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, along with two other natural resource professionals from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently taught more than 50 fellow natural resource practitioners about the biology, ecology, and identification of Iowa’s bumble bees, as well as specifics on the federally endangered rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis).


Karner blue butterfly

Insects Lose as Trump Administration Weakens the Endangered Species Act

Published on August 29, 2019

Who really wants to live in and pass on a world without a diversity of butterflies to fill the sky, bees to pollinate our food and flowers, and fireflies to light up the night? Clearly, those who wrote and support these new rules think that is an acceptable future.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes Endangered Species Act protection for Franklin’s bumble bee

Published on August 12, 2019

Responding to a petition from the Xerces Society and the late Dr. Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, tomorrow the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), making it the first bee in the western U.S. to be officially recognized under the ESA.


Remember the Ground Nesting Bees when You Make Your Patch of Land Pollinator-Friendly

Published on June 20, 2019

Seventy percent of native bee species in the United States are ground nesting. Providing nesting sites (they are drawn to sunny, bare soil) and reducing or eliminating pesticide use is key to supporting these important pollinators.


Brown-belted bumble bee (Bombus griseocollis)

Introducing Xerces’ Newest Community Science Project: Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas

Published on June 18, 2019

To help further our understanding of, and conservation efforts for, bumble bees, the Xerces Society has launched the Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas. This community science project offers locals the opportunity to work alongside researchers to collect data that will shed light on the distribution, status, and habitat needs of Nebraska’s bumble bees.


Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas Project Aims to Engage Community Scientists in Tracking Bumble Bees

Published on

A new project provides an opportunity for community scientists to work alongside researchers to better understand the status of Nebraska’s bumble bees. The state is home to nearly 20 different species of these charismatic and easily recognizable bees. The Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas is spearheaded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Four Native Bumble Bees Are Poised to be the First Pollinators Protected Under the California Endangered Species Act

Published on June 1, 2019

An upcoming vote of the California Fish and Game Commission could set in motion the listing of four species of native bumble bees as endangered, sealing their fate for survival. The vote to accept the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recommendation to grant these four pollinators “candidate species” status under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) is scheduled for June 12 in Redding. This process was triggered by a legal petition filed by conservation and food safety groups requesting that the western bumble bee, Franklin’s bumble bee, Crotch’s bumble bee and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee are listed as Endangered under the act.


Monarch and golden soldier beetle on thistle

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019

Published on May 30, 2019

May’s featured staff share stories of building pollinator habitat that will also support monarchs—one project on a farm in Iowa, and the other in a park in Missouri.


Rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

Five Ways Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Bumble Bee Recovery & Conservation Initiatives are Benefitting from the Success of Bumble Bee Watch

Published on May 2, 2019

Since its launch in 2014, and thanks to its growing popularity each year, Bumble Bee Watch has generated an enormous dataset devoted to cataloging North America’s bumble bee fauna, and the information it contains has enabled us to tackle important questions in bumble bee ecology.


Flowering clover in almond orchard

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – April 2019

Published on April 30, 2019

April’s featured staff are all Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planners, and are spread across the country—driving the adoption of cover cropping in California, guiding blueberry farmers to become more pollinator-friendly in Maine, and raising awareness of the importance of rangeland for pollinator conservation in North Dakota.


Long-horned bee

Bee City USA Mobilizes Communities to Support Imperiled Pollinators—Here’s How to Join

Published on April 26, 2019

Earth Week is an inspiring time, brimming with opportunities to make a difference in the days following Earth Day—and beyond. If you want to mobilize your city or county to make room for pollinators, then the Xerces Society’s initiative, Bee City USA, may have the formula you need. Bee City USA founder Phyllis Stiles explains how to get your community certified.


Honoring Robbin Thorp, a Legendary Figure in North American Bee Conservation

Published on April 24, 2019

Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, has made lasting contributions to the bee conservation community in ways that might never be measured, but will certainly be felt. As such, it is fitting to recognize this living legend of North American bumble bee conservation during Earth Week.


Earth Week - Xerces Society

Pledge to Bring Back the Pollinators—on Earth Day and Every Day

Published on April 22, 2019

During Earth Week 2019, we are asking you to consider taking simple, yet impactful, steps to make the world better for bees, butterflies, and other essential invertebrates.


Yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola)

A Quest for Bumble Bee Nests: The Missing Link

Published on March 26, 2019

Researchers at York University are recruiting members from across North America for a very important mission. You will need to be vigilant, always observing. This subject is elusive. Determination, a sharp eye, and a smartphone will be your greatest assets. The mission, should you choose to accept it: find and submit sightings of bumble bee nests.


Yellow Banded Bumble Bee

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019

Published on January 28, 2019

January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat with a multi-year hedgerow project in California’s Central Valley; and, in Maine, collaborating with a diverse array of partners and stakeholders to both facilitate habitat restoration for native bees and navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act.


Pollinator habitat at a Tree Top Grower's orchard

Businesses Aligning with the Life that Sustains Us

Published on December 20, 2018

The trend of business owners aligning with social and environmental causes is on the rise. Here at the Xerces Society, we are feeling these benefits—and are very thankful for the support.


Where Do Pollinators Go in the Winter?

Published on December 10, 2018

As the leaves and temperatures drop, it might be tempting to forget about your pollinator garden until spring. But don’t call it quits just yet! While it may seem like the bees have vanished for the year, they haven’t actually gone anywhere.


Aster

Fall Garden Tips to Benefit Bumble Bees All Year

Published on October 30, 2018

The growing season may be winding down, but fall is an important time to create habitat for bumble bees and other native pollinators. The work you do now will help support overwintering pollinators and support the next generation of bumble bees.


Western Bumble Bee

The Xerces Society Seeks Endangered Species Protections for California Bumble Bees

Published on October 16, 2018

Protecting these species is not only the right thing to do; it will also help to maintain the healthy ecosystems that make California such a remarkable and productive state.


The Endangered Species Act needs your help!

Published on August 29, 2018

We need your voice to help defend one of our most important wildlife protection laws. Since 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been at the forefront of species protection, placing the United States as a world leader in science-based conservation. The ESA is our nation’s most effective law for protecting animals and plants in Read more …


Wildlife Preservation Canada Continues Training “Bumble Bee Watchers”

Published on January 19, 2018

There are 40 different species of native bumble bee in Canada, and evidence suggests that up to a third of them are currently in decline. One of the most extreme examples of decline is the rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis). Formerly among the most common species across its range, it is now officially listed as Read more …


Citizen Science Data Gives Proof of Need for Regulating Commercial Bumble Bees, Used in Expert Testimony

Published on October 4, 2017

While the honey bee is the most common managed crop pollinator, the common Eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) is also managed and used for crop pollination. Bumble bees are the bees responsible for virtually all of our hot house tomatoes, and many other greenhouse crops like sweet peppers. Companies rear bumble bees in captivity and Read more …


Observations by Citizen Scientists Expand Known Range of the Two-Spotted Bumble Bee

Published on

How can researchers be in more than one place at a time? By mobilizing a network of volunteers with cameras! One of the powerful aspects of Bumble Bee Watch, a citizen science project that allows contributors to record bumble bee observations, is that participants submit records of bumble bees from across North America including in Read more …