After delay, first bee in continental U.S. protected by Endangered Species Act

For Immediate Release

After more than a month delay, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally listed the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species. The native bumble bee is the first bee in the continental United States to be protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Originally scheduled to be listed as endangered on February 10, 2017, the Trump administration delayed the bee’s listing until today.

Environment America and other environmental organizations delivered nearly 120,000 comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in support of listing the bee.

Environment America’s Christy Leavitt issued the following statement:

“Environment America applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for protecting the rusty patched bumble bee.

The rusty patched bumble bee is exactly the kind of species that deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act. Historically, the bee was seen regularly across 28 eastern and upper Midwest states. Today, only small populations are found in 9 states. The bee hasn’t been seen in states including New York, South Carolina, South Dakota and Michigan, since 2000.  

The rusty patched bumble bee and all bees are critical to our environment and our food supply. If bees go extinct, it’s simple: no bees, no food.

Safeguarding the rusty patched bumble bee from harmful pesticides, habitat loss and climate change will help this bee species and other bee populations.

Helping to save the bees today helps to save people tomorrow.”