I first became interested in bumblebees and their conservation in 2005 while working for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. That state’s bumblebee fauna had not been seriously examined since 1965. I spent the next six years conducting field surveys of bumblebees occurring in Arkansas’s remnant grasslands as well as a two-year citizen-science effort (Arkansas Bumblebee Survey).
I moved to Texas in 2009 and am now the Invertebrate Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The bumblebees of Texas were last reviewed in 1913, nearly 100 years ago. Given robust evidence of bumblebee declines in portions of North America, I think its important to examine how these insects are doing in Texas, especially given their significant economic contributions to agriculture and critical roles in maintaining native ecosystems.