It's Time for this Bumble Bee to Come Under Government Protection

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee – the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

 


It has finally come to this: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes a species of bumble bee –the rusty patched bumble bee – should be under federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The petition was filed September 22, 2016 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which attributes the decline in its report to disease, pesticides, climate change, and habitat loss.

The rusty patched bumble bee can be identified by the red coloring on its abdomen. You may be able to spot the bee if you happen to live in the upper Midwest or Northeastern part of the United States. Then again the species has suffered a great decline in its population – 90% since 1990 – so maybe not so much. 

“[The] Endangered Species Act safeguards are now the only way the bumble bee would have a fighting chance for survival,” Sarina Jepsen, of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, told Reuters.

It’s no secret bees have been dying off at an alarming rate, suffering from colony collapse, a disease which causes a number of worker bees to abandon the hive. This decline is thought to be caused by pesticides, which some researchers believe impairs the bees’ behavior in some way

Scientists have pointed the finger specifically at neonicotinoid pesticides, typically used in agriculture, causing a scientific debate to become slightly politicized. However, if nothing is done, America could be losing some valuable free labor. After all, bees are responsible for pollinating 75% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat. 

"Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States," the White House said.

Without pollinators, many flowering crops will require workers to go out into the field and manually induce pollination. To do this, you need to identify the male flowers, pluck them, and rub them up against the female flowers within a certain window of time during the day.

If these bees do fall into extinction, their absence will create quite a few job openings.

Get to know the more eccentric side of bees here, with Jonathan Keats.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less