Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus) are cold-adapted insects, primarily known for their importance in providing ecosystem services to wild and cultivated flowering plants. Recent expeditions into the wilderness regions of the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park, USA discovered undocumented populations of two bumble bee species: Bombus sylvicola and B. vandykei. Application of species distribution models with range-wide locality records identified the Olympic Mountains to have high habitat suitability for B. sylvicola and low habitat suitability for B. vandykei. Our results suggest that Olympic National Park is a habitat island for B. sylvicola, isolated from the relatively contiguous distribution of the species in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. Bumble bees are sensitive to environmental change, thus our discoveries will likely stimulate conservation-oriented investigations on these charismatic pollinators on the Olympic Peninsula and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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Vol. 90 • No. 2