Rarest of Bumblebees Rediscovered: “Cockerell’s Bumblebee”
“The most rare U.S. species of bumblebee, last seen in 1956, has turned up once again in the White Mountains of south-central New Mexico. Called “Cockerell’s Bumblebee,” this prized pollinator is known from an area of less than 300 square miles, giving it the most limited range of any bumblebee species in the world…
Any story about bees surviving in the wild is uplifting news in light of the well-documented decline of bees worldwide. Recently the U.N. reported bee losses of up 85 percent in some areas of the industrialized northern hemisphere, where pesticides, pollution, and parasites may all be to blame.
Cockerell’s Bumblebee, among nearly 50 species of bumblebees native to the U.S., has avoided many of these threats, living on protected national forest and tribal lands. For that reason, it is not especially surprising for an insect species to be rediscovered after decades, when people might otherwise imagine that it may have gone extinct…”