Fish and Wildlife lists rusty patched bumble bee as endangered
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, Dec. 11 listed the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered.
It is the first bee in the continental 48 states to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.
On a fact sheet, the Fish and Wildlife Service noted that the rusty patched bumble bee used to be common throughout the Midwest and the eastern states, but has declined 90 percent due to intensive farming and the loss of prairies and grasslands. The fact sheet also says that the rusty patched bumble bee may be vulnerable to disease and pesticides.
Environment America, a federation of environmental protection groups, said it “applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for taking action to protect the first bee in the continental United States. Protecting the rusty patched bumble bee and all bees is essential for our ecosystem and our food supply.” ❖