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UW-Parkside Welcomes the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee

June 25, 2019 9:40p

(WGTD)---The plight of a bumble bee has given reason to restore a large swath of land on and around UW-Parkside’s cross country course.

A partnership has been struck between the university and WIN---the Root/Pike Watershed Initiative Network--- in hopes of creating better living conditions for a particular bee that’s on the endangered list.  

The Rusty Patch Bumble Bee, which lives in nests in the ground, has been stressed out in many places by land development, native vegetation loss, herbicide and pesticide use, disease, and possibly climate change.

The bee, however, has been spotted in this area. 

WIN workers and the school will team up to create conditions that’ll be designed to grow the population of the species.

The project is expected to be funded by grants.

The agreement was formally signed Tuesday following a round of speeches on the edge of the cross country course. 

A side benefit of the deal is that Parkside students will be heavily involved. "Parkside, when it was built, was designed to be this sort of machine in the garden--an academic building surrounded by these outdoor laboratories," said Parkside biology professor David Rogers, referring to the several hundred acres of woods, wetlands and prairie that surround the campus. The partnership will reinvigorate the original thought, he said;.