Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
April 16th, 2019 - Terry Miesle
"Chasing the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee"
Please join us as we welcome Terry Miesle for his presentation " Chasing the Rust-Patched Bumblebee".
Once very common throughout the Eastern US, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) populations have dramatically decreased in the past few decades. Added to the US Endangered Species List, this bee has become the recipient of substantial attention. We'll discuss some of the reasons for this decline, how we can help, and how we can report information as Citizen Scientists. Our activity in our back yards is a unique opportunity to directly help an endangered species.
Mr. Miesle will be describe monitoring and searching for Bombus affinis in the suburbs and prairies, what to expect and some strategies for aspiring bee-spotters. He will include some biology, ecology, and requirements for these bees and the threats and opportunities around its Endangered Status.
Chicago and other Midwest cities and suburbs may be a refuge for the Bombus affinis and other threatened species, since these areas tend to be more protected, stable, and free from large-scale agriculture.
All programs take place at the Prospect Heights Public Library's Borland meeting room and start promptly at 7:00. Nature Speaks is free admission but registration is necessary.
Terry has participated in the Native Bee Awareness Initiative for about 6 years. He has been a formal insect monitor at Fermilab Natural Areas since 2014, and has informally reported insect data as a citizen scientist since around 2008.
"I've focused on bumblebees partly because that's where I started my monitoring efforts at home and eventually in prairie settings," said Miesle. "This brought me in contact with more official efforts to preserve Bombus affinis, and spread awareness of its importance. I've participated in education events and bioblitzes, which are tremendous fun."
Andrena on a cherry blossom
Terry Miesle is a Certified Flavorist (Flavor Chemist) with 25+ years in the industry, with degrees in Food Science. He has always been interested in wildlife, including insects, which he has turned into lay research.
Some additional information about our other native bees will be included, so people know what to expect to see in their gardens and favorite parks.