Bees: A Type of Fish?


Taken from PickPik

Liam Wood, Reporter

According to a ruling in California’s Third District Court of Appeals, bumblebees are legally classified as fish under the California Endangered Species Act. The act, passed in early 2017, was put in place to protect them from extinction.

The act states, “All native species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline, which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved.” As insects are not on the list, bees were not originally protected by the law. That changed on May 31, 2022, when the court reversed its original decision made in 2019 and classified bees as fish.

A poll of nine Lodi High School students and teachers was conducted to gauge public opinion on the court’s decision. The first question asked was whether they considered bumblebees to be fish. Eight out of the nine responded that they did not consider them fish.

When asked about their thoughts on the ruling, however, there were varied opinions on whether it should have been passed or not. History teacher Kelsie Barlow stated, “I agree with the outcome, but it seems like a perversion of the law. The legislative branch should pass a law protecting bees instead of the judicial branch labeling bees as fish. The court is making laws from the bench, which goes against our style of judiciary.”

The majority of participants expressed similar opinions. One participant stated that “they should be protected under the endangered species act, but I do not think that they should be classified as fish.”

In summary, public opinions are divided on the passing of this legislation, but there is agreement that bees should receive some form of legal protection to ensure their future as a species.