An alarming report released the other day by the Tuscon, Arizona-based Center of Biological Diversity shows that hundreds of North American Bee species are at risk of extinction. Unfortunately, the report from the nonprofit membership organization known for its various work and research into protecting endangered species is just the latest in a number of reports on how vulnerable bees are becoming.

Details of the center's report on bees

Of the more than 4,000 native bee species across North America and the state of Hawaii, the Center of Biological Diversity had enough sufficient data on 1,437 of them to make an accurate evaluation on their status.

The findings that the center got concluded that of these 1,437 species, 749 of them were declining, which is just over 50%. Of the 749 species that were on the decline, the center found that 347 of them were species that played a critical role in the pollination of plants. The center also warned that they believed that the species that lacked enough data to be thoroughly studied could also very well be at risk of extinction. The report also noted the major impact bees have on the economy and environment. Pollination from bees and other insects is estimated to be worth around $3 billion a year in the United States, while around 90% of wild plants depend on insect pollination.

What is putting bees at risk?

The Center of Biological Diversity found that habitat loss, heavy pesticide use, increasing urbanization, and climate change are the culprits behind the decline of all of these bee species. The author of the study (Kelsey Kopec) mentioned humanity's role in the crisis, noting "our careless addiction to pesticides and monoculture farming." It is also notable that for the first time last month a wild bee species, the rusty patched bumblebee (Bombus affinis), was listed by federal authorities as being endangered. This made it the first bee species on the continental United States to be recognized as such by the American government.