The declining bee population in the United States is a topic that has garnered an increased amount of buzz over the past few years. On September 21st, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brought the concern to a new peak when it proposed listing the rusty patched bumblebee as a member of the endangered species list.
The rusty patched bumble is the first species of bee that has officially been proposed for endangered listing in the continental U.S. This particular species is one of 47 native to North America. More than a quarter of these species currently face a risk of extinction.
Why exactly are bumble bees dropping off at such an alarming rate? For one, climate change is negatively affecting the way some bumblebees survive. Another factor is an increased use of pesticides on the flowers these bees pollinate. Thus, they are quickly dying out due to external factors and the process is expedited by our impact on their environment. If we’re not careful, we will may lose an important member of the ecological community. Although factors like wind do still pollinate flowers, bumblebees are still integral to the economy and farms everywhere.