UK government launches Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to help protect honey bees

Image of honey bees on comb.

(GOV.UK) The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government have published the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 to protect and improve the health of honey bees in England and Wales. The plan sets out four key outcomes for beekeepers, bee farmers, associations and government to work towards to help protect honey bees, which continue to face pressure from a variety of pests, diseases and environmental threats including the invasive non-native species Asian hornet.

Agreement reached to protect endangered rusty patched bumble bee at Minnetonka’s Lone Lake Park

Image of rusty patched bumble bee on white flowers.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity and the city of Minnetonka have reached an agreement to protect the endangered rusty patched bumble bee at Lone Lake Park, the site of a planned multi-use mountain-bike trail. Under the agreement, the city will implement numerous conservation measures, including creation of habitat for the bees and other pollinators.

Hawaii Attorney General joins lawsuit against pesticide that could harm bees

Image of honey bee boxes among palm trees.

(KHON2) The Hawaii Attorney General joined a multi-state coalition in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) improper use of the pesticide, sulfoxaflor. The Attorney General argued that due to its toxicity, sulfoxaflor poses risks to pollinators – like bees – that are essential to agriculture and the ecosystem.

Agency denies critical habitat for endangered rusty patched bumble bee

Image of rusty patched bumble bee on flower.

(AP) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would not designate critical habitat for the first bee species in the continental U.S. to be listed as endangered, a move that environmentalists said would worsen its chances for recovery. The agency said it had determined the rusty patched bumble bee could survive without having specific areas managed for its protection, even though its population has plummeted 90% in the past couple of decades.

Lawsuit launched to protect Minnesota’s endangered rusty patched bumble bee

Image of rusty patched bumble bee on flower.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the city of Minnetonka, Minnesota, for failing to protect endangered rusty patched bumble bees from a planned mountain-bike course in Lone Lake Park, home to one of the largest populations of the bee in the state. “The Endangered Species Act is 99% effective at protecting our most imperiled wildlife, but it can only work when its mandates are followed.”

Conservation groups petition Forest Service to stop rubber-stamping commercial beehives on federal lands

Image of honey bee colonies in field.

(Center for Biological Diversity) Conservation groups filed a formal legal petition today urging the U.S. Forest Service to stop allowing the placement of hundreds of commercial honey bee hives on national forest lands without proper environmental review. Honey bees, which are not native to the United States, are important agricultural crop pollinators but have been shown to transmit diseases to native bees. They can also outcompete native bees for pollen and nectar, their only source of food. Yet, over the past decade, the Forest Service has approved permits for at least 900 hives, which could house up to 56 million honey bees on Forest Service lands on the Colorado Plateau alone. A request is pending for an additional 4,900 hives on just one national forest in Utah.