A new species is proposed for the Endangered Species Act, and this time, it is an insect. The bumble bee is on the verge of changing its status to endangered after reports from specialists account for the severe decline of the populations. The announcement about the situation of the bumble bees was made by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.
The bumble bee is a wild species, and environmentalists and agriculturalists alike are concerned about its new status. The rusty patched bumble bee is the most endangered variety. The small insect is an important pollinator both for the wildflower species, as for the people’s crops. Specialists state that blueberries, cranberries, apple orchards, and even tomato crops count on the activity of bumble bees.
Specialists explain that the rusty patched bumble bee is threatened by several factors, and most of them seem to be related to human activity. Loss of habitat, excessive use of pesticides and climate change are just a few of the elements which lead to the rapid extinction of the species.
There are forty-seven bumble bee varieties in the wild. They live in colonies led by a queen. Like any other bee society, it doesn’t tolerate male individuals, except for reproductive purposes. Rusty patched bumble bees have black heads and a reddish spot on their backs, which give them their denomination. This variety of bee is scientifically called Bombus affinis.
According to statistics from the officials, out of the forty-seven bumble bee types living in the United States, no less than a quarter of them need protection, as they can become extinct soon. Specialists find it difficult to monitor the number of wild bees and their situation if compared to that of domesticated honey bees.
In order to protect the helpful insects, researchers intend to reduce the risk factors which are currently threatening the bumble bees. One of the first actions that they will take is to establish the effects of pesticides used by agriculturalists. If they find that the chemicals decimate the populations of wild bees, they intend to replace them with less harmful products.
Specialists are aware that bumble bees, as well as all bee species, are extremely important insects for both the good management of ecosystems and the humans’ well-being. They hope that new conservation strategies and programs will help them rescue the bees.
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