Road work stopped by bumblebees
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
Lexile: 1070L

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

  • SDudley02
    5/03/2017 - 10:49 a.m.

    The judge is protecting the bees because, he likes honey

  • ADhies02
    5/03/2017 - 10:53 a.m.

    I would recommend this article to someone else because it shows how the world shows care for other things instead of themselves and risking things and sacrificing for endangered bees which is a huge part of interest in nature.

  • charliet-orv
    5/03/2017 - 12:03 p.m.

    It's because bees are endangered. They are very important for keeping plants alive. If they went extinct, most trees and plants would die.

  • ahnad-orv
    5/04/2017 - 11:49 a.m.

    Wow! This is suprising that someone took a stand to protect the bees in such a big way. Im also suprised im just now hearing about this.

  • arianam-
    5/05/2017 - 08:35 a.m.

    The were widely spread across America, but then 90 percent of them disappeared over the pass 20 years. Now, they have spotted so he wants to bring up their population.

  • madelync-
    5/15/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    The judge is protecting bees because they are now becoming endangered. The bees are very important in the pollination of crops and wild plants.

  • saraip-
    5/19/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    these bees where an endanger species and without them we them to help the plants and other source of nature.

  • jordanb2-ver
    5/19/2017 - 03:20 p.m.

    because without the bees, we wont have any honey. if they killed the bees, whats the point of making honey?

  • MaidiM-wil
    5/24/2017 - 08:32 p.m.

    I think because it's in danger danger of extinction, and bees play a crucial role as a pollinator of crops and wild plants.

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