Minnesota citizen scientists thrill at sightings of endangered bumble bee

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Scientific discoveries don’t always come from scientists in a lab.

Amanda Sampson Townsend made one in July when she sunk her feet into a small patch of colorful, black-eyed Susan and bee balm in southeast Minnesota.

“I looked down and right on this little bee balm plant, right next to me, was this little bee,” Sampson Townsend said.

Finding a bee seems like a small discovery, but Sampson Townsend didn’t find just any bee.

Sampson Townsend found a rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), she said. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the species on the federally endangered list in March.

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