Chasing bumble bees on a patch of prairie

Tommy McElrath with a net
Illinois Natural History Survey insect collection manager Tommy McElrath captures a bumble bee in a prairie near Trelease Woods, a conservation and research property owned by the university.
Photo by Fred Zwicky

INHS scientists, including insect collection manager Tommy McElrath, conducted bumble bee surveillance as part of a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation for a few parcels in northern Illinois affected by road and highway construction projects. These parcels may or may not be prime habitat for bees. But if something rare turns up, like the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee, Bombus affinis, IDOT might alter its plans.

Read more about the project.