Bees Added to Endangered Species List
On the long list of things humanity needs to worry about, bees do not receive enough attention. Bees are an absolutely vital part of ecosystems all around the world, and we have been seeing bee populations drop for years. In fact, a large portion of humankind’s crops, around 75%, depend on bees for pollination, and without them crops would die. Despite all of this, not much has been done to combat the massive losses we have seen in the bee population across the world.
Now, for the first time, seven species of bees have been put on the US Fish and Wildlife’s List of Endangered Species. The decision was made after a study tracking the bee population for years. All seven species of bees are native to Hawaii and have likely seen a loss in the population for a few compounding reasons.
First, they have seen a massive loss in habitat due to human development of the islands. Second, invasive plant and animal species have been introduced to their environment. The introduction of new species, which the bees are not adapted to deal with, has hurt their populations. And last, many pesticides used in farming have been shown to have harmful effects on the bee population.
Unfortunately, these issues are not unique to Hawaii. Rather they are problems for bees all over the world. The good news is now that they have been put on the Endangered Species List, they will receive government protection. There are other bee species to be put on the Endangered Species List also, one of which is the rusty-patched bumble bee, which is found across the United States. Taking these steps is good start, but we need to be doing more before the bee population drops below a point where serious damage is done to the environment and the agriculture we depend on.
Faith Karimi. "Bees Placed on the Endangered Species List -- a First in the US." CNN. CNN, 1 Oct. 2016. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.
Kennedy, Merrit. "Bees Added To U.S. Endangered Species List For 1st Time." NPR. NPR, 3 Oct. 2016. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.
Liptak, Andrew. "For the First Time, Bees Have Been Placed on the Endangered Species List." The Verge. The Verge, 2 Oct. 2016. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.