Study finds climate change causing bumblebee decline

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Study Finds Climate Change Causing Bumblebee Decline

The impact of global warming on pollinating insects overall has been a concern, but one variety in particular appears to be responding in an especially worrisome way.

New research has found that, for some reason, bumblebees are not expanding their territories northward in order to take advantage of cooler climates.

At the same time, their numbers have been dwindling in previously inhabited southern areas which have become inhospitably warmer due to a rise in temperatures.

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Study finds climate change causing bumblebee decline
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HOMESTEAD, FL - MAY 19: A honeybee is seen at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on May 19, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration announced May 19, that the government would provide money for more bee habitat as well as research into ways to protect bees from disease and pesticides to reduce the honeybee colony losses that have reached alarming rates. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A bee collects pollen in a sunflower field, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, near Lawrence, Kan. The 40 acre field planted annually by the Grinter family draws bees and lovers of sunflowers alike during the weeklong late summer blossoming of the flowers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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The team tracked 67 different bumblebee species by using more than 420,000 North American and European observations recorded over a period of 110 years.

According to their calculations, bees have ceased to occupy more than 180 miles of total territory.

Species that were thriving just a few decades ago are now declining to the point where many are seriously endangered.

Not all of the news resulting from the study is dire. Some hardier bumblebees are said to be doing well and could help to provide insights into the overall survival of the important crop pollinators.

Some experts point out that climate change is only one of many factors. Various pesticides and habitat loss are also hurting the populations.

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