Rusty patched bumble bees pollinate everything from cranberries and blueberries to squash and clover, but they are dying quickly. Studies indicate they have disappeared from 87 percent of their historic range and by as much as 95 percent in recent decades. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately and if you want to help save the bees, you can take some very simple steps to help today!
Right now, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers granting Endangered Species Act protection to the rusty patched bumble bee, groups are taking the fight to their front door. Friends of the Earth, Environment America, Environmental Action and the Sierra Club are delivering petitions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife headquarters today signed by 119,662 people urging the agency to enact immediate protections for the bee. The agency is accepting comments on the listing until Nov. 21.
You can sign the petition here: http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=18856&okay=true – it takes seconds to do and can make a world of difference!
Or, if you have a little more time and want to do more, you can submit comments by one of the following methods:
- Electronically: Go to the federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter FWS–R3–ES–2015–0112, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, in the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the Proposed Rules link to locate this document. You may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
- Submit hard copies by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:Public Comments Processing
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Headquarters, MS: BPHC
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803
The organizations submitting petitions note that rusty patched bumble bees are declining due to a variety of factors including habitat loss, climate change, parasites, diseases and pesticide use. Canada listed the rusty patched bumble bee as endangered five years ago while Vermont did so last year.
“Protecting the rusty patched bumble bee and all bees is essential to the ecosystem and our food supply,” said Christy Leavitt of Environment America. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should move swiftly and boldly to protect the rusty patched bumble bee as an engendered species. If bees disappear, it’s simple: no bees, no food.”
Want to do more to help save the bees?
Check out the organizations leading the fight to save the bees and consider donating or becoming an active member:
- Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.
- Environment America is an environmental advocacy organization working in 29 states to build a cleaner, greener, healthier future.
- The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.
Be sure to check out some of our other articles for more ways to help save our bees: