We’ve got a NEW member added to the endangered species list. It makes me wonder because I know climate change is part of the problem. But after doing much research, I also found out there’s more to it, so I want to share what I found out, with you right now.
According to the New York Times, “The rusty patched bumblebee has been added to the endangered species list, becoming the first bee listed in the continental United States.
This variety of bumblebee, which used to be common on the East Coast and through parts of the Midwest, played a vital role in pollinating crops and wild plants.
However, a combination of disease, pesticide exposure, climate change and habitat loss have led to the rusty patched bumblebee’s decline”.
So what does that mean? What do bumblebees actually do?
They pollinate the crops. And my research supports ‘a third of the crops’ are pollinated by bumble bees.
So, while they may not be the ‘rock stars’ making the honey, they are worth quite a lot in terms of pollination. What would happen if they go extinct, what would the impact be?
I read a ton of information on the internet and companies send me info when they want to get it out to the public. Of course I always have to research everything and get more than 3 sources telling me the same thing, but as far as I can tell, less pollination certainly does mean less food. (And there have been story after story about how honey bees are losing their population as well).
What can you do to help? Plenty!
Here’s what I do: I purchase honey from local growers. I have featured many of them on this blog as I travel up and down the coast of California. But locally, we just had Lazy Acres come into Encinitas. And the surprising thing about them is they have a beehive in the back and are selling local honey, that not only will help support your immune system and perhaps make you less allergic to our surroundings, but also provide a more than yummy sugar substitute.
And there’s even more we all can be doing, (this is according to the National Wildlife Federation’s Blog):
“PROVIDE POLLEN AND NECTAR FOR FOOD.
Active from early spring through late fall, bumble bees need access to a variety of nectar- and pollen-producing flowers so food will be available throughout all stages of the insects’ life cycle. Native plants are best because they have coevolved with indigenous bumble bees.
ENSURE BUMBLE BEES HAVE NESTING SITES.
Most bumble bees nest underground in holes made by larger animals, while others nest aboveground in abandoned bird nests, grass tussocks or cavities such as hollow logs or spaces beneath rocks. In gardens, they may also use compost piles or unoccupied birdhouses.
PROTECT HIBERNATION HABITAT.
Because most queens overwinter in small holes on or just below the ground’s surface, avoid raking, tilling or mowing your yard until April or May. If you do need to mow, do so with the mower blade set at the highest safe level.
Both insecticides and herbicides should be avoided. In particular, steer clear of systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which are taken up by the vascular systems of plants. This means bees and other pollinators are exposed to the poison long after a product has been applied when they feed on the plants’ nectar and pollen.
HELP SCIENTISTS STUDY BUMBLE BEES.
Report the bees you see in your yard or community to Bumble Bee Watch, a new citizen-science project sponsored by the Xerces Society and five North American partners”.
Quite frankly, I was surprised to hear bumble bees are going extinct and I wonder why I hear about so many things that have inhabited the earth like us (now and before), are disappearing.
Now I could get sad or mad….. but I think the best I can do is call this to your attention. And of course, I ask you to start a buzzzzz, by passing this info to as many people as you can!
Healthy Happy Eating,