Has Trump Added Bees to His Hitlist?
Mar 23 2017 Read 937 Times
Donald Trump is hardly known for his environmental concern. Nor is he renowned for overwhelming support of any groups. From journalists to Muslims, his policy changes have been largely detrimental to several groups. And it looks like bees could be next on his agenda. Why? Read on to see how Donald Trump is bothering the bees.
Freezing bees out
The rusty patched bumblebee has long been verging on extinction. Up until around 40 years ago, however, it was actually one of the most common species in some parts of America. Realising this, Obama’s administration made the decision to place it on the endangered list. “Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world,” said the Fish and Wildlife Service at the time.
Unfortunately, as President of the US, Trump has a number of powers at his disposal. As well as the popularised “big red button”, he can freeze any regulations which have not yet been implemented. And sadly for the bees, this means pausing regulations that were set to make their life a lot easier.
Being on the endangered list officially gives federal governments the responsibility to save the species, making it a crime to harm or kill a rusty patched bumblebee. However, one day before the endangered status was implemented, Trump’s administration delayed it.
On Tuesday 21st March, nearly six weeks later, the rusty patched bumblebee was finally placed on the endangered list. It makes it the first bee to be placed on the list in the US. But environmental groups are understandably unhappy with the delay. “Federal protections may be the only thing standing between the bumble bee and extinction,” said Rebeca Riley of the Natural Resources Defence Council.
They’re so unhappy, in fact, that Riley’s non-profit organisation have filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration, claiming that the endangered listing was illegally suspended.
The benefits of bees
As well as providing essential pollination for a range of plants, bees can be used to monitor the air. As they fly through the air, their fur has been found to collect samples of air quality, picking up small amount of particulate matter. However, there is also the issue of filtering the air to remove any particles when we find them. And for this issue, bees simply can’t help. ‘Dust Collector Monitoring…Is there a cost effective solution?’ explores the development of dust filter monitors which are easy to install, affordable and efficient.
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