[VIDEO] Western Bumblebee no longer in Willamette Valley
Though Oregon may be experiencing a population boom, there is at least one group that is no longer found anywhere in the Willamette Valley.
The Western Bumblebee.
“Western Bumblebee used to be one of the 3 most common species in Oregon,” said Sarina Jepsen of the Xerces Society in Portland. “It’s really declined dramatically and is no longer in the Willamette Valley where it was most common.”
Natural history photographer Clay Bolt is working on a film about protecting native bees: “A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee.”
That is one of the 4000 native bees quickly disappearing in the United States.
“It is clearly on an extinction trajectory, the science supports that, the entire bee research community is in agreement,” Bolt told KOIN 6 News. “It’s not just this one species, it’s many many other species that will, too.”
Bolt’s work is part of the first to draw attention to our declining bee problem. Bees tare wildly important in Oregon and all of the US for pollinating.
“There are certainly many in the Western US that are in need of conservation, attention and protection,” Jepsen said.
Late last year, US Fish and Wildlife agreed to consider the Rusty-patched Bumblebee for protection under the Endangered Species Act — but so far, no other steps have been taken.
This post originally appeared at: http://koin.com/2016/06/27/western-bumblebee-no-longer-in-willamette-valley/