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One Of North America's Best Pollinators Could Be Disappearing

The rusty patched bumblebee population has declined about 87 percent in recent years.

By Lindsey Pulse | September 23, 2016

A North American bee that's apparently really good at pollinating might be added to the endangered list.

The rusty patched bumblebee is known for pollinating cranberries, apples, plums and wildflowers — and wildlife experts say they're disappearing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday the population has declined at such a rate that it should be considered a threatened species in the U.S.

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And this is the second organization to recommend this bee for the list. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation filed a petition in 2013.

The society reports 87 percent of the bee population has been lost in recent years, and the decline is attributed to a number of things.

We're talking disease, habitat loss, climate change and pesticides.

The next step in the process is a 60-day waiting period in which members of the public can submit opinions on the proposed designation. After that, the wildlife service will make its decision.

If the bee is added, a habitat will be designated and protected.

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