TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Federal regulators say they won’t designate critical habitat for the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be listed as endangered.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday the rusty patched bumblebee can get along without having specially protected habitat, even though its population has dropped 90% in the past two decades.
The service says habitat loss isn’t the primary reason for the decline of the bee, which also is harmed by pesticides, disease, and climate change.
But environmental groups say the bee has lost much of its grassland habitat and the decision will worsen its chances for recovery.