Bad news for the American bumblebee in Canada. Scientists took a new look at how the tiny insect—once widespread throughout its native North America—is faring, and found it may now be facing extinction up north.
The American bumblebee species (Bombus pensylvanicus) has decreased by 70 percent within its known Canadian boundaries, according to a study published on Wednesday in the Journal of Insect Conservation. Its relative abundance, or representation throughout its local ecosystem, also plummeted 89 percent from 2007 to 2016 compared to 1907 to 2006.
These declines, the study notes, are enough to warrant a new classification on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List—an extinction risk masterlist of the world’s plant and animal species. The species is currently listed as “vulnerable,” or “considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild,” according to IUCN’s own definition.
“This species is at risk of extinction and it's currently not protected in any way despite the drastic decline,” Sheila Colla, an assistant professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto and co-author of the study, said in a statement.
Colla was one of three researchers who pored over data from citizen science programs, a North American bumblebee catalog dating back to the late-1800s, and their own field surveys to paint a comprehensive portrait of the species’ fate in Canada.
“This bumblebee species now has a reduced overall range,” explained Victoria MacPhail, a PhD student at York University and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “It used to stretch from Windsor to Toronto, and all the way to Ottawa and into the Quebec area, but it is now only found in some core areas and has experienced a 37 percent decrease in overall range. It's now a rare sighting in Toronto.”
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire conducted a study to document declines in about 100 wild bee species critical to pollinating crops throughout New England. What they discovered, according to the study, was a collapse in the wild bee population across the state, reported AP.
They’re small, efficient and capable of basic reasoning, and researchers want artificial intelligence tools to do the same.
Beekeepers in and around Cape Town, South Africa are facing significant losses of their pollinators in recent weeks. The mass deaths have been linked to an insecticide called fipronil that was likely incorrectly used by the area's wine farmers, according to media reports.
Up to 13% of US beekeepers are in danger of losing their colonies due to pesticides sprayed to contain the Zika virus, new research suggests. Zika – which can cause severe brain defects in unborn children – is spread by mosquitoes, so the insects are being targeted in the southern US where Zika-carrying mosquito species live.
Pesticides sprayed in the southern U.S. to stop the spread of the Zika virus could turn the nation's honeybeesinto collateral damage. That is the warning issued by a study from the University of Exeter and the University of California, Berkeley published Friday in the Journal of Agricultural Research. The study found that 13 percent of U.S. honeybee keepers are at risk of losing their colonies from Zika spraying.
As the world population of honey bees continues to decline at a dangerous rate, a new study suggests that mushrooms could have a powerful effect on bees by helping them combat the viruses that have been killing their colonies.
Bees become addicted to pesticides in the same way that humans grow dependent on cigarettes, new research has found.
A review of a decade of research of the impact of pesticides on bees found that even low doses commonly used in agriculture hurt the bees' learning and memory, a Royal Holloway, University of London press release reported. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Ecology, found the bees' ability to remember floral scents was harmed even by pesticides not covered by Europe's recent ban on neonicotinoids.
A farm bill that opponents say would harm endangered species, land conservation efforts, small-scale farmers and food-stamp recipients passed the U.S. House of Representatives 213 to 211, with every House Democrat and 20 Republicans voting against it, The Center for Biological Diversity reported.
Beekeepers in France aren’t happy with Bayer. Agence France Presse reported (AFP) a beekeeping cooperative in the northern part of the country filed a legal complaint against the chemical giant after the controversial herbicide glyphosate was found in honey. The complaint was filed the same day as the close of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.
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