- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Environmentalists concerned about the dwindling bumble bee populations have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, saying the insect needs endangered species protection.

“The leading hypothesis suggests that disease may be playing a role” in the bees’ dwindling numbers, said Sarina Jepsen, a program director for the Xerces Society, a group that joined the Natural Resources Defense Council to file suit, Newsmax reported.

The case was filed in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., naming the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services as defendants.

Researches say non-native bees brought to America by tomato producers may have actually brought disease into the hives. On top of that, pesticides are being faulted for the insect’s demise, something that’s been hotly contested by many in the chemical industry, Newsmax reported.

The endangered species list does not presently include any type of bee, though several are have been put in the category of consideration, Ms. Jepsen said, Newsmax reported.

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