First Bumblebee Declared Endangered in U.S.
The rusty patched bumblebee population has declined 87 percent over the past two decades.
“Bumblebees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s rusty patched bumblebee profile. “The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.” (See seven intimate pictures that reveal the beauty of bees.)