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Bees Endangered

Environmentalists sue U.S. government to have bumble bees listed as endangered

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 1:01 PM - Though once common in the U.S., bumble bees are disappearing at an alarming rate -- prompting a group of environmentalists to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government Tuesday, arguing the species should be listed as endangered.

The group wants better protection in place for the rusty patch bumble bee, which is falling victim to habitat destruction and widespread pesticide use.

The lawsuit was filed by Oregon-based Xerces society, which filed the lawsuit in Washington, D.C. against the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to Reuters, the group approached the government about adding the bees to the endangered species list last year but received no response.

RELATED: Honeybee microchips may provide clues about colony collapse

Government officials aren't commenting on the case.

Pollinators are a valuable resource that help maintain at least one third of the plants that humans and animals consume.

They contribute as much as $2 billion annually to the economy in food production in Canada alone. 

With files from Reuters

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