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Bee-lieve it: Rare bee spotted in Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. — A rare bee not seen in Wisconsin in more than a century has turned up in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

U.S. Forest Service scientists found the bee in July while surveying pollinators as part of an inventory of native bees in the Great Lakes region. It’s known commonly as a cuckoo bee, but its scientific name is a mouthful: Epeoloides pilosulus.

The bee was once widespread in eastern and central America but was thought to have gone extinct. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports it was then found in 2002 in Nova Scotia, Canada — and only two such bees have been found since, in Connecticut in 2006 and New York in 2014.

Wisconsin has around 500 native bee species.

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