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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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.