For the first time ever, a bumblebee species in the United States is on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement that the rusty patch bumblebee is officially an endangered species on Tuesday Jan. 10. There has been a massive drop in the population of bumblebees in the last twenty years, as the bumblebee population has dropped a staggering 87% percent since the late 1990's. Some of the main reasons for the rapid population loss are climate change, pesticide overuse, and habitat loss. Most people do not really care about insect and bug species, but most people do not realize how big of an impact bees have on their lives. Not only do bees pollinate 75% of all flowering plants, but it is also believed that one out of every three bites of food that a person eats is a result of pollinators like bees. Basically if bees go extinct, many types of food would go down with them.
There are many things that everybody can do to help prevent the extinction of bumblebees. Some of these things include avoiding or limiting pesticide use, planting native flowers, and leaving grass and garden plants uncut after summer to provide habitat for overwintering bees. Bees are responsible for pollinating a lot of our food, so trying to help save the bees is kind of a big deal. Bumblebees are one of the most important pollinators of fruits like blueberries and cranberries and is one of the only insects to pollinate tomatoes. Unless you want to risk losing some of your favorite foods forever, I recommend helping save the bumblebees.