Are there as many bumblebees around?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
There don’t seem to be as many bumblebees around here now as there were years ago. Is this real or just my imagination?

Silas Montgomery,
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Silas,
It’s not your imagination. Climate change, pesticide use and habitat loss are pushing bumblebees toward extinction. Compared with the base period 1900 to 1975, bumblebee populations have tumbled by about 50 percent across North America and 20 percent in Europe. The biggest declines have occurred in areas that are experiencing extreme temperature swings, and bees aren’t migrating to cooler areas as fast as they need to.

Planting native flowers in gardens and leaving out leaf piles and fallen logs to create shade on especially hot days will help bumblebees to cope with excessive heat that is becoming more frequent.


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