Endangered: The Rusty Patched Bumblebee

28 Mar 2017 8:00 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

Bumblebees are some of the most unusual and endearing creatures in nature. They are large and fuzzy with tiny wings in proportion to their body size, and, until very recently, many people believed that bumblebees shouldn't even be able to fly — they violated the rules of physics!

In seeking the reasons how bumblebees are able to fly, the explanations quickly turn toward aerodynamic flow terms such as "dynamic stall" and "leading edge vortex." It makes you wonder if bumblebees only knew how much of a puzzle they still are to scientists and engineers.

But, bumblebees and other native wild bees are in real trouble throughout the United States. The loss of pollinating services of bees is a matter of major concern in areas dependent on certain types of crops, fruits and nuts. The rusty patched bumblebee, Bombus affinis, is one of those bee species so endangered that it was approved for listing as a federally endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. READ MORE...

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