top of page

The Wild Way That Californian Environmentalists Are Protecting Bees

World bee day is celebrated every year on May 20th in honor of Anton Janša, who is known as the pioneer of beekeeping. World Bee Day is an important annual observance that sheds light on the critical role bees play in our ecosystems and highlights the growing concern over their endangered status. Bees, as diligent pollinators, are essential for the reproduction of countless plant species, making them vital contributors to global food production and biodiversity. In recent years however, various factors have intensified, causing many to worry about the future of the species. Pervasive habitat loss caused by urbanization and intensive agriculture have deprived bees of their natural foraging grounds and nesting sites. Combined with the widespread use of pesticides and insecticides, this has led to a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, where a colony dies out because it no longer has enough worker bees to sustain the queen. This problem is further exacerbated by climate change and the accompanying disruptions to flowering patterns and ecological cycles. These combined factors have created a pressing need to raise awareness, promote conservation efforts, and foster sustainable practices to safeguard these extraordinary creatures and ensure the resilience of our ecosystems. In California, one group of environmentalists, Almond Alliance, have devised a creative legal solution to protect native bee populations. The 1984 California Endangered Species Act protects only native birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, or plants that are at risk of extinction. It says nothing about endangered insects, such as bees. But someone noticed that the California Fish and Game Code defines “fish” to mean, “a wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, or part, spawn, or ovum of any of those animals.” The key phrase here is “invertebrates.” Under this law, any invertebrate can be legally classified as a fish, making them protected just the same as if they were a crabs, clams, or crustaceans. The decision to allow four species of bees to be legally classified as fish was first ruled on in 2018, during Almond Alliance of Cal. v. Fish and Game Com. and was upheld in September of 2022, when the California Supreme Court denied appellate review. This case is a good reminder that sometimes activists need to think outside of the box. View the ruling here Read the original article here

bottom of page