According to Truthout, the Trump administration had recently delayed the effective date of federal protections for the rusty-patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis) from what was originally supposed to be February 10th to now March 21st. As of 2016, they are declared as endangered.
“For the first time in the history of the continental United States, a species of bumble bee that was once a common sight across much of the nation has been declared an endangered species” (NBC News).
Bumblebees, if they end up extinct, would be a devastating loss because of how we need them for pollination. We greatly rely on them to help grow our crops and other plants. PennState, College of Agricultural Sciences, states that there are an estimated 300,000 flowering plants worldwide that depend on animal pollinators.
If you don’t know what that is exactly, Forest Service explains what pollination is and how the process is done with nice diagrams. Basically, pollination is how plants produce offspring by “transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma” in order to create seeds. Flowers are what plants use to help make seeds and pollinators, typically insects, do the rest unintentionally when they feed off of them and then go from one spot to the next. Just like any other living organism, plants need to reproduce.
“FWS Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said in a statement that the bumble bee, and pollinators like it, play a vital role in the lives of human beings. ‘Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world,’ he said. ‘Without them, our forests, parks, meadows and shrublands, and the abundant, vibrant life they support, cannot survive, and our crops require laborious, costly pollination by hand'” (NBC News).
Pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, are suspected to be the main cause of their decline. They generate billions in profit for some companies, but they threaten our wildlife. “They also harm hummingbirds, butterflies, bats, earthworms and now marine life off the Central American Barrier Reef. These poisons are being found in our rivers, soil and even our brains” (Truthout).
One thing you can do to help bumblebees is beekeeping. But if you don’t wish to participate in beekeeping, you can always give support to local beekeepers by buying honey from them instead of from large corporations. Just go onto Google if you want to learn more about beekeeping and you’ll find a lot of information out there. I found a good website that has tips and a list of equipment you need to raise bees.
That’s it for today and thank you for reading. Be sure to click on the links! Have a great day! I’ll be back to post again soon! The featured image was found from here.