APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton residents have a chance of spotting their new and un-bee-lievable neighbor: The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis).
The Rusty Patched Bumble Bees were seen buzzing around downtown Appleton earlier this week astonishing local conservationists.
An Assistant Professor of Biology at Lawrence University, Israel Del Toro, explains to Local 5 that it was an incredible sight to see as these rare bees have been impacted by things such as disease, climate change, and habitat loss for the last decade.
However, experts say that conservation efforts in Appleton like NoMowMay and Native Plant Gardening are speculated to be helping the population recover and may be a reason why they are now moving into Appleton.
To ensure our tiny friends stay for the long haul, Del Toro is giving ways residents can help make these essential creatures feel at home. “Some of the most important things that you as a citizen can do to help our Rusty Patch Bumble Bee population is reducing your pesticide use, herbicides, the way the glyphosates and neonicotinoids are no good for our bees.”
The professor added that reducing the number of times you mow your lawn can also help encourage these bees to flourish.