Road work stopped by bumblebees This 2016 file photo provided by The Xerces Society shows a rusty patched bumblebee in Minnesota, which was officially designated an endangered species March 21, 2017. (Sarah Foltz Jordan/The Xerces Society via AP, File/AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
Road work stopped by bumblebees
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A highway in suburban Chicago has become the second Midwest road construction project delayed because of concerns about possible harm to a bumblebee. The bee was recently listed as an endangered species.
 
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman halted work on the nearly 6-mile-long Longmeadow Parkway. It is in Kane County, Illinois. Work will be stopped until at least April 25. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported the judge's order was in response to a filing by project opponents. They said the roadway could affect the rusty patched bumblebee.
 
According to court documents, the bumblebee was found in the Brunner Family Forest Preserve. The area is along the planned route for the parkway, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reported.
 
The holdup could boost the project's costs by tens of thousands of dollars, said Carl Schoedel. He is the county's transportation director.
 
"Every day that we're not working during the construction season is a potential delay to the project," Schoedel told the newspaper.
 
The rusty patched bumblebee became the first bee species in the continental U.S. added to the federal endangered list in March. It was once common in the Midwest and parts of the East Coast. But it has disappeared from nearly 90 percent of its range in the past 20 years.
 
Along with other bees, it plays a crucial role as a pollinator of crops and wild plants.
 
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deals with endangered species. It is not involved in the parkway dispute, said Louise Clemency. She is a supervisor in the agency's Chicago field office. But she said the planned route is within an area considered to have a "high potential" for the presence of the bees. They were spotted there as recently as 2012.
 
The federal agency is providing information to the Illinois Department of Transportation about surveying the planned route for signs of the bees and ways to protect them. Those might include providing more habitat, Clemency said.
 
Even if the bees are found there again, it's "highly unlikely" they would prevent the road from being built. But minor alterations might be needed, she said.
 
Minnesota's Hennepin County delayed work last month on a 4-mile stretch of a road. It is called Flying Cloud Drive. That is because of concern about the endangered bees. But federal officials visited the area and determined it was not within a high-potential zone for the bees, said Andrew Horton. He is a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
 
The county plans to move forward with the project, spokesman Colin Cox said. It still needs federal permits dealing with issues not related to the bees.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is the judge protecting the bees?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (156)
  • brendanw-kut
    4/27/2017 - 07:53 a.m.

    I knew bees were declining but i didn't know that NOW their endangered. Bees are more then annoying stingers as they help with crops. The smallest bugs can have the biggest effects.

  • camaiyar-bur
    4/27/2017 - 10:19 a.m.

    The judge is protesting the bees because they are becoming endangered species. I like this pass because I like to learn new facts about different animals.

  • judea-buh
    4/27/2017 - 10:25 a.m.

    I'm glad they are delaying the road work because of bees. I'm so happy they care and are delaying road work over bees in the way. I'm glad the judge is protecting the bees.

  • kaelc-bur
    4/27/2017 - 11:03 a.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because of the fact that the bumblebee is endangered.Throughout the text I came to the realization that it is a specific species of bumblebee of bumble because not too long ago bees were flying around my house and neighbor hood

  • alyssab1-bur
    4/27/2017 - 11:07 a.m.

    I believe he is protecting the bees because the are a endangered species. I think they closed down the highway because the bees were living that area so they would not get killed.

    • Amaris-mar1
      4/28/2017 - 12:10 a.m.

      I do beleave Alyssa is right because they are engaged species and they did close down the high way because the bees were living there .

    • Hailey-mar2
      4/28/2017 - 11:04 a.m.

      i agree with you he is protecting the bees because of endangered

  • jacksone-bur
    4/27/2017 - 11:19 a.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because the bees play an important role for our crops and food. Bees pollinate our flowers and crops so they can grow and be healthy. Bumblebees are also endangered and I would protect bees to if i figured out they were endangered and help our plants grow

  • jeremyj-orv
    4/27/2017 - 11:32 a.m.

    I think the judge is protecting the bees because the bees help our environment.

  • ethanc1-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:44 p.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because they were recently placed on the endangered list and they help out a lot of producing crops.If I were a farmer i would definitely want the bees to be protected so that they can help out the crops.

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