Franklin’s bumblebee goes missing

Robbin Thorp is on a lonely search for a single bee. He’s looked low and high, hoping to spot Franklin’s bumblebee. The last time he saw one was August 2006 on Mt. Ashland in Oregon. The bee might be extinct. Thorp, a bumblebee authority and emeritus entomology professor at the University of California at Davis, remains hopeful that it isn’t. That’s why he keeps looking. Franklin’s bumblebee once buzzed around Siskiyou and Trinity counties. Its range stretches about 190 miles north to south and 70 miles east to west, from Southern Oregon into Northern California. Thorp has been monitoring the bee since 1998. The first year’s count was 100. That dropped to three in 2003, one in 2006 and none since.

Source: The Record Searchlight, September 27, 2010