Beekeeper buzzing over new presidential protections on bumblebees

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 11:51 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2017 at 10:16 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Obama administration has less than two weeks left in office and one of its last actions puts a bumblebee on the endangered species.

The rusty-patched bumblebee is the first bee in the United States to be put on the list.

"Their lack of environment, the destruction of their habitat and the spraying of pesticides," said Wilmington beekeeper Ashley Stephenson as he listed the reasons for declining numbers in the bumblebee's population.

This new designation comes with a plan to replenish the habitats and limit the spraying of pesticides in the area the bumblebee lives.

"Yes it's directed towards one species of bumblebee," said Stephenson. "But it will affect thousands of others."

The rusty-patched bumblebee isn't isolated. They live among thousands of other pollinators and Stephenson hopes the protections those bumblebees get help the honey bees that fly into his backyard hives.

As he checked on his hives, Stephenson pointed out the large amounts of pollen his bees carry on their legs. It's hard work on the bees part to spur plant growth.

"One in three bites of food everyone takes is directly from pollinators," Stephenson added.

The bees have a large impact in our daily lives and Stephenson doesn't want that impact taken away.

"Of course there is a steady decline in a lot of different species of pollinators," said Stephenson. "Anytime you have less pollination clearly less food, less food for animals less food for us."

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.