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 in Kane County, Illinois, 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 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.
 
In March, the rusty patched bumblebee became the first bee species in the continental U.S. added to the federal endangered list. Once common in the Midwest and parts of the East Coast, 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, such as 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 (21)
  • aidenm1-bur
    4/27/2017 - 12:59 p.m.

    They are protecting the bees because they have become endangered in Chicago.

  • marquism1-bla
    4/28/2017 - 08:24 a.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because the bees are part of our nature without them the nature wouldn't be good. Also if you try to harm the bees they will spread and cause more bees to come to that certain area. Bees are the bugs you don't want to play with.

  • gracet-bla
    4/28/2017 - 10:37 a.m.

    The endangerment of the rusty patch bumblebee is the first of the bumblebee species and road work construction is being delayed in suburban Chicago, due to possible harm towards the bees. The planned route for the parkway includes The Bruner Family Forest Preserve, where the bees were found. Delaying the construction can cost tens of thousands of dollars. I think the delay of the road work is necessary to preserve the rusty patch bumblebee species.

  • paxtong-bla
    4/28/2017 - 10:39 a.m.

    The judge is protecting the bee's because the bee's are a big part of nature and the ecosystem. The bee's play a crucial part in pollinating crops and wild plants. More roads can be built, but once the bee's die they can never come back. The judge just wants to protect the bee's and nature from a mistake that can make a huge impact on this area. Therefore I agree with the judge on her decision.

  • bennetts-bla
    4/28/2017 - 11:59 a.m.

    This article was about Bees that are endangered and that the government wants to build a highway on it. The U.S Fish and Wild life is stopping this from happening because these bees are a crucial part of the ecosystem. I think that the government should build around even though in the text it would cost thousands to build around. I think that the government should stay away from the bees let them life in peace they did not do anything to us so we should not do anything to them.

  • raelind-bla
    4/28/2017 - 12:09 p.m.

    I think that the judge was protecting the bees because it is apart of nature and I think that there is too many things that are destroying the bees and other animals habits. If we keep destroying these animals habits the could go in central areas and harm humans.

  • ashleighs-bla
    4/30/2017 - 02:26 p.m.

    the bumblebee of many other species of bees has been recently listed as an endangered species. The bumblebees natural habitat was nearby the construction site in the Brunner Family Forrest Preserve. this slight delay could end up costing the project tens-of-thousands of more dollars than the original price of the road work. The rusty patched bumblebee has los nearly 90% of its range in the past 20 years. This is why it is on the Federal Endangerment List. This bee is one of the many other bees that have a vital role in pollinating wild flowers/plants and crops. "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, such as providing more habitat," Clemency said. Minor alterations may be needed if the bees are found there again while there is construction going on. The county plans on moving forward with the construction after all of the problems disregarding the bees are taken care of. I agree with what the county is doing. I think is a good idea to stop the road work until the bee problem is sorted out. They are just trying to prevent the bees from becoming extinct because if the bees became extinct then the number of insects that are pollinators will go down and that will be really bad for the environment because then there wont be many flowers or plants or trees. If we continue to harm bees and other animals/insects then they will be forced to move into human communities and then we will have infestations and be forced to remove them with pesticides insecticides to prevent them from borrowing into our homes and yards. we should focus on keeping them alive and gong around and not through their habitats as much as possible.

  • kristas-bla
    5/01/2017 - 08:01 p.m.

    I agree with the judge. I agree with her because bees are now an endangered species,if an elephant,another endangered species were to walk in the road would you stop for it? Bees are living creatures just like pandas, elephants, and other endangered species.

  • SDudley02
    5/03/2017 - 10:45 a.m.

    I didn't know that bees are almost extinct.

  • SRamirez02
    5/03/2017 - 10:47 a.m.

    I believe that Judge is trying to protect bees because of Cheerios on how bees are endangered bugs. I really don't like bees because they be messing with you and stuff and be buzzing in your ear. I guess we need bees in this world.

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