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Rare Endangered Bumblebee Sighted in Dubuque County

A rare, endangered bumblebee has been sighted in Dubuque County.

Kaytlan Moeller, who serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Dubuque County Conservation, says it was an exciting find.

Pollinator enthusiasts Jennifer Agee and Doug Cheever both spotted the rusty-patched bumblebees in their “Mowing to Monarchs” prairies in Dubuque late this summer. Dubuque County created the “Mowing to Monarchs” program to develop native habitat three years ago, with the goal to help the endangered monarch butterflies and other pollinators. 

The Dubuque County Conservation Board partners with the Dubuque County Master Gardeners to provide native plants and education to Dubuque County homeowners so they can create their own small “pocket prairies” and larger “prairie meadows”.

Nearly two hundred Dubuque County landowners have participated in this ongoing program, planting 120,000 square feet of prairie – and Moeller says it’s been a big success that has the potential to take off in other areas too.

And even if you’re not part of the “Mowing to Monarchs” program in Dubuque County, there’s something all homeowners can do right now to do our part in helping pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies. Moeller says it’s as simple as leaving your fall leaves and other dead plants where they are for the winter – a movement called “Leave the Leaves”.

Moeller says our yards can help sequester carbon, improve water quality, rebuild biodiversity and still be beautiful. So what can you do with your space? 



photos courtesy of Dubuque County Conservation (pictured Katherine Connolly with her “Mowing to Monarchs” prairie)


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