Jeff Rumbaugh for Governor

Reviving the Endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Thanks to Egyptian drawings depicting ancient beekeeping, we’ve long known that humans have worked with bees for thousands of years but we didn’t know just how far back our relationship with bees went. The ancient Egyptians used honey for a multitude of purposes including as a sweetener, a gift for the gods, and an ingredient in embalming fluid. These winged agents of life are interwoven into the history and the survival of the human population. Globally, the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is listed as critically imperiled and at a high risk of extinction. Endangered federally in America, and also considered critically imperiled in Wisconsin. Without immediate action, we may see their extinction, and a steady increase in the cost of human food. Threats this campaign will address include: livestock grazing, insect applications (neonicotinoids and Glyphosate), invasion and dominance of native grasslands by exotic plants, the invasive hive beetle, and Climate Change. This campaign will ban neonicotinoids from usage in Wisconsin. This campaign will also perform applicable roadside planting of pollen-rich flowering trees and flowers, encouraging population growth of this insect and others. Roadside planting will undoubtably improve our morale and catch the eye of the tourist. Our strategy to revitalize this insect coincides in certain ways with plans to expand the maple syrup industry, and also the battle against the Emerald Ash Borer, where planting of other native trees to combat the disappearance of the of the Ash is needed. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is also considered an excellent pollinator for our state fruit, the cranberry. Honey can become a greater part of our economy. Wisconsin needs to take part in these strategies and others to nurse humanity’s most precious insect back to life.