By Jasmine Alfaro
On Sept. 30, seven species of yellow-faced bees were added to the U.S. Endangered Species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This has been the first time for any types of bees in the U.S. to be added to this list.
The decline of bees are both caused by the hands man and nature. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the leading culprit is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), “when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen [due to intolerable conditions].”
In addition, the work of pesticides with chemicals known as neonicotinoids negatively impact the bee’s nervous system and navigation to fly or killing them in large numbers.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, Mother Nature has taken its toll on these creatures with parasites, like varroa mites, that suck the blood of adult bees, shortening their lives and spreading infection to colonies. Another factor is climate change, disrupting the flower’s time to bloom and pollination schedule for bees.
The importance of these insects in our society affects a human’s need for a stable diet, progress of plant reproduction, and overall landscape of our world. According to The One Green Planet, bees and the pollinating services they provide us with helped produce approximately $19 billion worth of agricultural crops in the U.S. alone in 2010.
Solutions to prevent the disappearance of yellow-faced bees are being utilized. For instance, ecological farming serves as a healthy alternative, protecting the climate and biodiversity and does not contaminate the environment. Jason Graham, an entomologist at the University of Hawaii, supports building bee-friendly artificial nests to defend them from invasive species.