Bombus franklini - (Frison, 1921)
Franklin Bumble Bee
Synonym(s): Bombus (Bombus) franklini (Frison, 1921)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Bombus franklini (Frison, 1921) (TSN 714804)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109927
Element Code: IIHYM24010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Bumble Bees
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Hymenoptera Apidae Bombus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Williams, P. H. 2008a. Bombus, bumblebees of the world. Web pages based on Williams, P.H. 1998. An annotated checklist of bumblebees with an analysis of patterns of description (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini). Bulletin of the Natural History Museum (Entomology) 67:79-152. Online. Available: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/bombus/index.html. Accessed 2008-Oct.
Concept Reference Code: W08WIL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Bombus (Bombus) franklini
Taxonomic Comments: Subgenus: Bombus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Sep2009
Global Status Last Changed: 30Aug2007
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species, which had the smallest range of any North American bumblebee, is either on the brink of extinction or already extinct. It was not rare in 1998 but only three individuals were seen in intensive efforts in 2003, and only one in substantial annual efforts since (see Thorp 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, Black et al., 2009). The 2003 and 2006 records are from the same area in Oregon. IUCN currently has this species listed as critically imperiled and both states in its range rank it as S1. Xerces Society and others acknowledge that this species is possibly already extinct, but an individual was observed as recently as 2006 in Oregon (Code and Haney, 2006. Williams et al., 2012). Until there is more conclusive evidence to the contrary, this species is assigned a conservation status rank of G1 (critically imperiled), based on the assumption (but not any actual evidence) that it is still extant. However, realistically the number of EOs tab should show a range that includes zero (e.g. ZA or ZB), and that change was made in August 2012. Doing so will generate a GH rank from Rank Calculator. Previously with this tab given as U version 3.1 generated a G1 rank. G1 implies that there still are extant occurrences, and the preponderance of evidence is increasingly suggesting that there are none. G1GX is not an allowable rank but would accurately describe current knowledge about the status of this species. GH would also be appropriate but is not chosen in deference to both states in its range which still have it as S1.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (30Aug2007)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S1), Oregon (S1)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: CR - Critically endangered

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: According to IUCN, this bumble bee was known only from southern Oregon and northern California between the Coast and Sierra-Cascade Ranges. Franklin's bumble bee has the most restricted range of any bumble bee in the world. Its entire distribution can be covered by an oval of about 190 miles north to south and 70 miles east to west. In Oregon, southwestern Jackson County, perhaps southeastern corner of Josephine County.

Number of Occurrences: Unknown

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None to very few (0-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Given the threats from exotic pathogens, it is very unlikely (as of the end of the 2008 season) that any viable occurrences remain even if the species is not extinct.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The massive declines of several species in this subgenus, and possible extinction of this one, are probably primarily due to introduced pathogens (Colla et al., 2006, Winter et al., 2006, Otterstatter and Thomson, 2008, Federman, 2009), perhaps especially a very virulent strain of Nosema bombi and Crithidia bombi. The disappearance of B. franklini was very soon after a major outbreak of Nosema in commercial bumble bee hives in the area (Winter et al., 2006, Federman, 2009) which was so severe as to lead to the discontinuation of cultivation of the closely related B. (B.) occidentalis which was common and native in the range of B. (B.) franklini. While other factors such as habitat loss and insecticides could have been causing some level of decline, other than exotic pathogen spillover no known factor could plausibly have a caused a range-wide collapse of this species in five years or less along with continent-wide declines or disappearances of at least three recently common and widespread species in this subgenus in the USA over a period of about a decade or less--especially considering that other bumble bees are declining less severely, or are stable, or even documented as increasing.

Short-term Trend: Decline of >70%
Short-term Trend Comments: All evidence indicates a decline of substantially more than 99%, apparently starting about 1999. An individual was seen in 2006 but none in 2004, 2005, 2007 (IUCN), 2008 (Black et al., 2009) or apparently in 2009. The last observation of more than one individual was in 2003.

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: The species had been more or less stable (G3) in its small range until sometime between 1999 and 2004 when it virtually disappeared. This coincides with major declines of three other species of subgenus Bombus that occur in the US other than Alaska.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The life history did not differ much from other bumblebees.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: If this species is not already extinct, captive breeding may offer its best or only chance for persistence.

Black et al. (2009) state, "All known Bombus franklini habitat should be protected and managed to include plentiful food (pollen and nectar resources such as Lupinus, Eschscholzia, Agastache, Monardella, Vicia), abandoned rodent burrows in which to nest, and proximity to water sources (lakes, rivers, streams, seeps) for prolongation of flowering season of plant food sources. All efforts should be made to prevent the spread of disease from commercially reared and managed bumble bee colonies to native populations."

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-20,000 square km (about 2000-8000 square miles)) According to IUCN, this bumble bee was known only from southern Oregon and northern California between the Coast and Sierra-Cascade Ranges. Franklin's bumble bee has the most restricted range of any bumble bee in the world. Its entire distribution can be covered by an oval of about 190 miles north to south and 70 miles east to west. In Oregon, southwestern Jackson County, perhaps southeastern corner of Josephine County.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, OR

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Siskiyou (06093), Trinity (06105)*
OR Douglas (41019)*, Jackson (41029), Josephine (41033)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 North Umpqua (17100301)+*, South Umpqua (17100302)+*, Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+*, Applegate (17100309)+*
18 Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Shasta (18010207)+, Scott (18010208)+, Lower Klamath (18010209)+, Salmon (18010210)+*, Trinity (18010211)+*, Sacramento headwaters (18020005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
General Description: See Frison (1921). QUEENS AND WORKERS: metasomal terga two or three with pile yellow or black or with traces of ferruginous or orange pile. First metasomal terga with pile black. Metasomal tergum five and/or six and sometimes four, with pile pale ferruginous, pale yellow, light gray or white, vertex with pile predominantly yellow. Corbicular fringes black, metasomal tergum two with pile all black. MALES: eyes not protuberant. Ocelli placed well below supraorbital line; malar spaces less than half as long as broad; metasomal tergum seven with pile all black; metasomal terga one to four with pile all black; head as broad as long (Stephen 1957).
Ecology Comments: Found flying in the herbaceous grasslands between 1400-4000' elevation. Activity spans the entire blooming season so they do not appear especially restricted to a particular host or flower.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Through adult flight. Immatures restricted to nest.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Food Comments: Immatures fed by adults.
Phenology Comments: Adults probably present and in active flight from may (on sunny warm days) through early September.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Biological Research Needs: The following research needs were taken from Black et al. (2009):

Monitor, sample, and conduct population estimates of extant populations of B. franklini. Conduct research aimed at increasing understanding of the pathology and control of Nosema bombi [Microsporidia] and other potential disease organisms (such as Locustacrus buchneri [Acarina] and Crithidia bombi [Protozoa]). Focus research on elucidating the virulence and cross-infectivity of strains of these disease organisms, especially Nosema bombi, between commercially reared and wild bumble bee species in order to better assess the ecological risks of trafficking managed crop pollinators.

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Aug2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.; Capuano, N.A.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 30Mar1992
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): JIM WERNZ

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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