Bombus affinis, 2018, Tucker County, West Virginia.
An Endangered Species.
This male was found by Justin DeVault from AllStar Ecology, who with other folks at AllStar, on their own time and dollar, have been surveying bumble bees in the state. Good people, good model, too rarely done, why aren’t you doing this? I digress. After a couple of decades, this is the second specimen for the state. In somewhat nearby Mineral County, one was found in 2017 and about 100 miles away a few more have been found in the mountains of Virginia. The general pattern (other than one in the Shenandoah Valley in 2014 (or 2015)) has been high elevations, openings in heavily wooded general landscapes. There are more to be found…but people have to look. Check out the sporty reddish brown band on the abdomen …this is an aberration of the type that shows up in B. impatiens regularly and at least once before in B. affinis.