The Rusty Patched Bumblebee is now on the endangered species list. It is the first kind of bee that has been put on the endangered species list according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency added the insect to list from a number of determining factors. It’s decline has been attributed to a mix of factors, including disease, pesticides, climate change and habitat loss.
Named for the large red blotch on its abdomen, rusty patched bumblebee once flourished throughout 28 states. They mainly were found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States. The bee can now only be found in 13 of the those states.
Bumblebees are an essential element for the pollination of wildflowers and about a third of all US crops, ranging anywhere from blueberries to tomatoes. Pollination services furnished by various insects in the United States, mostly by bees, have been valued at an estimated $3 billion each year.
It seems a certain type of pesticide called neonicotinoids – widely used on crops, lawns and gardens – as being a particular threat to the bees. Mainly because they are absorbed throughout a plants entirety, including leaf tissue, nectar and pollen.
Being protected under the Endangered Species Act restricts activities that are known to harm the creature in question. It also requires that the government prepare a recovery plan. Along with the previously mentioned, it also raises awareness and helps focus conservation planning for the endangered species.