Demand Protection of Wild Bumblebees

Bumblebee_By_Beatrize Moisset

Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Dan Ashe

Goal: Protect two species of wild bumblebees under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will consider protection for the Western bumblebee and the yellow-banded bumblebee by listing them as either threatened or endangered on the Endangered Species List. These two species of bee are wild insects that have not been farmed commercially and whose numbers are in decline. As essential pollinators and wild, native insects at risk, these bees need and deserve our protection.

Both of these species of wild bumblebee are found in many states as well as in various Canadian provinces. In all of these regions, these insects provide essential pollination for plants and crops, including fruits, nuts, and vegetables. However, the numbers of these bees have been in decline, likely as a result of pesticide use, a parasite called nosema bombi, and the increased presence of commercial bee farming. In some areas of their native habitat, the yellow-banded bumblebee has decreased by 34 percent. With numbers of these wild insects in obvious decline due in large part to various types of human activity, it is time that measures be taken to protect these bees.

While bumblebees may seem small and insignificant to us in our daily lives, they are anything but insignificant. Wild bees are responsible for the important act of pollination that ensures we have continued access to many of our basic foods. Though there are domesticated bees helping to pollinate our crops, it would be a devastating situation if wild bees were lost to extinction, creating a huge lack of necessary pollinators. Please sign the below petition to show your support for wild bumblebees by demanding that the USFWS place them on the Endangered Species List.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Ashe,

I am writing to request that you and your agency place the Western bumblebee and the yellow-banded bumblebee on the Endangered Species List. Both of these wild species of bumblebee are essential pollinators that are found across a number of states, and the recent declines in their population numbers are concerning. As wild insects that serve an essential function across a diversity of ecosystems, it is essential that they are given the protection they need to survive.

The Western bumblebee is found in 14 states, and the yellow-banded bumblebee is found in 23. In all of these states, these bees play an important role as pollinators of plants and crops, serving as a natural, cost-free way to carry out an essential part of the food production process. However, both of these species of bees have seen declines in their populations, and this is likely due to factors such as pesticides, increased commercial bee farming, habitat destruction, and a parasite called nosema bombi.

As you can see, many of the factors possibly responsible for the killing of these bees are related to human activity. Therefore, it is time that we take action to ensure that both of these wild bee species are protected from harmful human activities.

It can be very easy to overlook the importance of bees. However, these bumblebees play an essential role in the production of food in this country, and they are not to be taken for granted. Allowing the Western bumblebee and the yellow-banded bumblebee to continue to go unprotected is a risk that is not to be taken. Please protect these wild bees by ensuring that your agency places them on the Endangered Species List.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Beatriz Moisset

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