Bombus affinis: a "rara apis" Spotted in Illinois
Bombus affinis / Rusty patched bumble bee
The citizen beespotter program at the uiuc, in it's first year, has had a positive ID of a bumble bee not seen in Illinois for many years.
What a great project to get the many eyes(and cameras) of the public working to understand where and which bees live in Illinois.
Beespotter has a website where Topics range from How to take a good photo of a bee ,
Designing A Bee Garden .
Once you join even if you have no pictures to add (yet) you can view pictures taken by other beespotters and identified by university staff.
I have added a couple of photos of bumble bees to the site and intend to add many more this coming year. Orland Grassland, where a prairie restoration is underway, should be a bee haven.
Check it out and if you live or visit Illinois, take a few pictures of the bees you encounter, then share.
Bees at pollinators-welcome