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Groups Seeks To Add Franklin's Bumble Bee' To Endangered Species List

The Xerces Society filed a petition Wednesday to put ‘Franklin’s Bumble Bee’ on the endangered species list. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports. 

The wild Franklins’ Bumble Bee used to live throughout southern Oregon and northern California. But University of California scientist, Robbin Thorp, says over the last 12 years, the bees’ numbers have declined precipitously.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman, Janet Lebson, says researchers have only found one since 2006.

Janet Lebson: “We certainly share the Xerces Society’s concern for the Franklin’s Bumble Bee’s decline.” 

Scientists aren’t sure what’s killing the bees — it could be anything from climate change to disease.

Those are also possible culprits in what’s been called “colony collapse disorder” - a mysterious ailment that’s been killing commercial bees. 

That’s why the Xerces Society is asking for a reduction in the shipment of commercial bees.

Pollinators are worth an estimated $3 billion a year to farmers. 

The federal government now has 90 days to issue a finding on the endangered species petition.