Bombus affinis

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Rusty-patched bumblebee
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Bombus
Subgenus: Bombus
Species: B. affinis
Binomial name
Bombus affinis
Cresson, 1863[1]
Bombus affinis distribution.svg
The past range of Bombus affinis.

The rusty-patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis) is a bumblebee in the subfamily Apinae. Its historical range in North America has been throughout the east and upper Midwest of the United States,[2] north to in Ontario, Canada, where it is considered "species at risk",[3] east to Quebec, south to Georgia, and west to the Dakotas.[3] Its numbers have declined in 87% of its historical habitat range.[2]

As its name suggests, it has a rusty-coloured patch bordered by yellow on the first half of its abdomen. It is medium- to large-sized bumble bee with an annual lifecycle.[3] It is an excellent pollinator of wildflowers, cranberries, and other important crops, including plum, apple, alfalfa, and onion.[2]

Until the 1980s, it was one of the most common species of bumblebee in southern Ontario. Since then, the species has had a drastic decline and is now difficult to find in its normal range. The only locality within Ontario where the rusty-patched bumblebee has been seen in the last five years is Pinery Provincial Park (Lambton County) despite widespread surveys in Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has begun a recovery project aimed at protecting the species and critical habitats centred in Pinery Provincial Park.[3] These threats have been proposed as the cause of population decline: pathogen spillover from other species, pesticide use, and habitat fragmentation and loss.[3] Surveys from 2001-2008 have located bombus affinis populations only in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and Southern Ontario.[2]


  1. ^ "Bombus affinis". Retrieved 18 Sep 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rusty-patched Bumble Bee, Xerces Society
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) in Ontario Ontario Recovery Strategy Series". Recovery strategy prepared under the Endangered Species Act, 2007. Ministry of Natural Resources. 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012.