I began composing this post as tribute to the rusty-patched bumble bee which was slated to be put on the list of endangered species in order to protect it from what appears to be a rapid path to extinction.
As I just now went to check some of my facts, I encountered a news item that breaks my heart further: the current administration has delayed the protection of this endangered pollinator. Really?
How many times and in how many ways can my heart be broken?
While I understand that some feel that restrictions are hard on the agricultural industry, could we have such an industry if we had no pollinators?
We humans think we are so clever. With the declining bee population, we commercially rear bees to pollinate crops. I guess we think we can do a better job of it than was in God’s design.
Yet one of the leading hypotheses for the dramatic decline of the rusty-patched is that these commercial bumbles spread a virulent pathogen to the wild bees – and they had little resistance to it.
So, with a heavy heart, I continue my tribute to our dear pollinators, innocent victims of human sin.
(The bumble bee below may be a rusty-patched, though I am not certain. The image was received in 2015. I will post more bumble bee images of a different variety over the next week. They are all dear and at risk.)
To read more about the plight of our beloved bees, please read: https://xerces.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=3545656993df4d19a83ffc7987c37c88