The Rusty Patched Bumble Bees has been the first bumble bee to be declared endangered in the United States, according to fws.gov.
Once found in over 28 different states in the U.S, the bees are now only found in about 13 states and one Canadian Province, according to livescience.com.
Native to Eastern North America, the bee is known for its brown patch on the abdomen area, according to xerces.org.
Some of the suspected causes deaths of the bee include pesticides, herbicides (A toxic spray that kills unwanted vegetation), human development over bee territories, disease, and climate change, according to washingtonpost.com.
“The best things we can do to help the bees are to reduce our use of residential pesticides, to plant flowers that help to feed the bees, and to continue to monitor bee populations for pathogens and pests,” reported Dr. James Strange, a USDA Bee Researcher, in an interview with The Matador Messenger.
“I think that the listing on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is warranted and it is important to protect species that are in decline. While this one species is not going to lead to immediate losses in productivity of agricultural crops, this decline in numbers is symptomatic of larger changes in our ecosystems,” reported Strange.
“It reflects the impacts that we see in other species that are slow declining,” added Strange.