A distinguished emeritus professor from the University of California at Davis has been credited with being a large part of the effort to put the rusty-patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. The man’s name is Robbin Thorp, and he looks a lot like the old man from Jurassic Park, so the brilliant and aging academic looks exactly like how you would picture him.
The rusty-patched bumblebee is the first bee that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has place on the endangered species list within the continental United States. Seven years ago Thorp co-authored the petition to get the rusty-patched bumblebee onto the endangered species list. In 2016 the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed creating protective measures for the bumblebee. Finally just two weeks ago, at the beginning of the year 2017, the bee was listed as endangered.
The rusty-patched bumblebee once thrived in twenty-eight states, but now the bee’s population has declined by ninety percent. Many experts believe that the bee should be preserved no matter the cost since rusty-patched bumblebees are efficient pollinators, and they contribute to our food security as well as to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
Have you ever heard of the rusty-patched bumblebee? Why would losing one bee species be a serious problem when there are so many more species of bees still thriving in the world?