The rare rusty-patched bumble bee spotted on St. Thomas' St. Paul campus.

Rare Bumble Bee Lands in St. Thomas Pollinator Path

For three years, the University of St. Thomas Pollinator Path has been a source of food and habitat for a wide variety of pollinators. It’s also created living laboratories for studying by both students and members of the community.

We are excited to share that on Aug. 6, Doreen Schroeder and Catherine Grant from the Biology program sighted an endangered rusty-patched bumble bee (bombus affinis) foraging on the bed outside of Owens Science Hall.

The sighting was submitted to - and verified by - Bumble Bee Watch experts. The rusty-patched bumble bee is the first bumble bee listed under the Endangered Species Act. Minnesota is one of only 13 states and one Canadian province that provides habitat for this species, which has seen dramatic declines in numbers in the past 20 years.

The Pollinator Path was established in 2016 and this is our first sighting. The path offers abundant nectar and pollen sources for local bees, beetles, moths and butterflies.

Learn more about the rusty patched bumble bee by clicking on the links below