During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

While the FWS claims the listing will help protect the bee species, what does the first-ever addition of a bee species in the continental U.S. to the endangered species list mean?

It means that the rusty patched bumblebee, an important pollinator for American agriculture, has been added to a list of 1,652 domestic species that are protected under the ESA. This list has been added to since the ESA was enacted in 1973.

However, fewer than 2...