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Endangered Bumble Bee Found in Chicago

Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University Master’s student discovers critically endangered rusty patch bumble bee residing within the City of Chicago. In August 2018, Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University graduate student Andrea Gruver discovered the critically endangered and federally listed rusty patch bumble bee (Bombus affinis) foraging at flowers at the Rogers Park Metra station in Chicago. Gruver’s unexpected observation of the endangered pollinator happened as she conducted research on the native bees of Chicago.

“We were really surprised by this finding, but what it means is that this endangered species can handle urban environments. Now we need to figure out why that is and what we can do,” said Gruver.

Gruver’s research will improve conservation efforts to promote healthy native bee populations in urban environments, especially for rare and threatened species.

Gruver researching bees by the Metra track