Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Headed For Extinction

October 3, 2018

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The rusty patched bumble bee has the dubious distinction of being the first to be added to the federal list of endangered species.

Scientists say the bee's population numbers have dropped nearly 90 percent in the last 20 years. Although there's still hope that they can be saved. There are many potential reasons for the declinie in the number of rusty patched bumble bees including habitat loss, intensive farming, disease, pesticide use and climate change, with disease being the leading cause.

Some people may not think it's a big deal if bees should die off, but they'd be wrong. "Thanksgiving would be a sadder event. We wouldn't have cranberries for the cranberry sauce. We wouldn't have squashes at the table. Our diet would be really depauperated if we lost all of our bees," according to bee expert and Ohio State University ecologist Dr. Karen Goodell.

To find out more about the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), click here.