Toronto now has an official bee. Here’s why that matters

Image of metallic green sweat bee on purple flower.

(The Star) The metallic green sweat bee — Agapostemon virescens is the species name — was chosen for three reasons. One, it’s abundant: of the more than 360 wild bee species that inhabit Toronto, this one is fairly common. Two, it’s hard to miss: it looks like it’s all zhuzhed up to hit the bee version of Studio 54, or maybe the Brunswick House before it became a Rexall. And three, it lives in a condo.

Fish and Wildlife Service announces it will review petition to list Mojave poppy bee as endangered

Image of Mojave poppy bee on yellow flower.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today it will consider Endangered Species Act protection for the Mojave poppy bee. Today’s positive finding comes in response to a petition filed in 2018 by the Center for Biological Diversity. Although it once thrived across much of the Mojave Desert, the quarter-inch-long, yellow-and-black bee is now only found in seven locations in Nevada’s Clark County. The bee is tightly linked to the survival of two rare desert poppy flowers. The bee has disappeared as those plants have declined, as well as facing ongoing threats from grazing, recreation and gypsum mining.

EPA argues its blog isn’t public information, won’t change post praising its work protecting pollinators

Image of EPA logo on window.

(The Hill) The Environmental Protection Agency won’t tweak a recent blog post environmentalists say is inaccurate. The tension stems from a June post on the agency’s blog that includes apparent praise for EPA action on pesticides considered harmful to bees. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint under the Information Quality Act, which can be used to demand a correction of inaccurate information from government sources. The center’s complaint came in the wake of an EPA decision in July to expand the use of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide the agency previous said was very highly toxic to bees. In response, EPA has argued that the blog post is not considered public information and, therefore, not subject to the guidelines.

As Massachusetts sprays for EEE, beekeepers worry about fragile bees

Image of hand with honey bees on it.

(WBUR) This summer is turning out to be a particularly bad one for the mosquito-borne virus Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Massachusetts has been conducting aerial spray operations in areas where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus using a pesticide called Anvil 10+10. Officials don’t rule out the possibility that this pesticide could harm bees or other insects, but they say there’s no evidence that it has.

Lawsuit challenges EPA’s 200 million-acre expansion of pesticide harmful to bees

Image of leafcutter bee.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety have sued the Trump administration over its July decision to approve use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor across more than 200 million acres of crops. The approval was granted despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency’s own scientists concluded that sulfoxaflor is “very highly toxic” to bees. The decision expands the pesticide’s use to a wide range of crops that attract bees, including soybeans, cotton, strawberries, squash and citrus. The Center’s fact sheet on sulfoxaflor can be found here.