For the first time, bees were added to the endangered species list by federal authorities Friday.
Bees pollinate a third of everything we eat and play a vital role in sustaining the planet’s ecosystems. Nearly 84% of the crops humans grow need bees and other pollinators to increase their yields and quality, including most fruits and vegetables, seeds used for oils, cocoa beans, coffee and tea.
They also pollinate the seeds, fruits, and berries eaten by birds and small mammals, making them a necessary part of the food chain and countless ecosystems.
The first bees added to the endangered species list include seven types of yellow-faced bees native to Hawaii that play a key role in the survival of some of the states endangered plants.
The cause of the bees’ endangerment comes from destructive human development, coupled with non-native, invasive insets.
The Hawaiian bees were added to the endangered species list shortly after a call to protect Midwestern bees, including the rusty patched bumblebee.
While the situation seems dire for bees all over the U.S., scientists remain hopeful that with protective measures in place, the bees can avoid their bleak future.
Authorities say putting bees on the endangered species list allows them to implement recovery programs, gain important funding, and counteract the effects of outside sources.
This is a critical time for bees, some of our most important pollinators, and we can’t stop with the protection of Hawaiian bees. We must protect all our bees, and you can help us tell the EPA to protect them.