If Franklin's bumble bee were a human, you might think it part of the Federal Witness Protection Program. That's because it's rarely seen.Its narrow distribution range covers parts of southern Oregon (Jackson, Douglas and Josephine counties) and northern...
NOTED bumble bee expert Robbin Thorp, shown here in his office at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis, is on a mission to protect Franklin's bumble bee (Bombus franklini). His computer screen shows one of his images of the imperiled bumble bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Franklin's bumble bee
FRANKLIN'S BUMBLE BEE, pictured here on a California poppy, is mostly black. It has distinctive yellow markings on the front of its thorax and top of its head. It has a solid black abdomen with just a touch of white at the tip, and an inverted U-shaped design between its wing bases. (Photo by Robbin Thorp, UC Davis)
Let's have a show of hands.
How many of you have seen Franklin's bumble bee in the wild?
Never HEARD of it, you say?
Well, you probably will never SEE it, either. Bumble bee experts think it may be extinct.
Franklin's bumble bee is native to southern...
UC DAVIS RESEARCHER Robbin Thorp with a computer screen showing Franklin's bumble bee. He captured this image on a California poppy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
THIS CLOSE-UP of Franklin's bumble bee, taken by UC Davis researcher Robbin Thorp, shows the distinctive black-inverted U-shaped design on its yellow thorax. Thorp fears that Franklin's bumble bee, found only in southern Oregon and northern California, may be extinct.