American bumblebee added to endangered species list

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The American bumblebee was a common sight in Massachusetts more than 50-years-ago, but the population’s been in steady decline for the last 25 years, and are now found almost exclusively in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

The American bumblebee pollinates 71 of the world’s 100 most common food crops. Bumble Bees are essential for the survival of crops like apples, cranberries, and blueberries, which are grown all across Massachusetts.

Environmental officials blame the loss of commercial development and the use of pesticides. Twenty-thousand people signed petitions to call for a ban on certain pesticides.

Westborough State Senator Jamie Elderidge joined their effort saying, “the use of pesticides is destroying honey bee colonies across the planet and threatening the health of our ecosystems.”

Right now, there are two legislative bills that address some of the factors hurting the state’s bee population.

22News will continue to follow those bills we’ll update you on any new developments.

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