Bumblebee populations down nearly 50 percent thanks to climate change – Totally Vegan Buzz
Bumblebee populations down nearly 50 percent thanks to climate change
Image: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / shutterstock.com

Bumble bee populations have plummeted across the world because of climate change, scientists have warned in a major new study. 

A new research paper has revealed that at the start of the 21st century populations fell by a shocking 46 percent on average across the US and Canada. 

In Europe bees only fared slightly better where numbers fell 17 percent. 

Bees face extreme threats from loss of habitat and pesticide use, but the new study aimed to analyse the impact of climate change alone. 

Scientists mapped populations based on half a million sightings of bees across North America and Europe.

Bumblebee populations down nearly 50 percent thanks to climate change
Image: Maciej Olszewski / shutterstock.com

Uninhabitable

They identified population changes and compared them to increases in temperature. In some areas temperatures had risen to dramatically they were no longer inhabitable by bumblebees. 

Numbers were most affected in areas where climate change had been the most severe.

There were increases in some cooler regions which were too cold for bees before global warming began, but overall numbers were still significantly reduced. 

Scientists led by Peter Soroye, a biologist at the University of Ottawa, said the new studies “suggest that recent climate change has driven stronger and more widespread bumble bee declines than have been reported previously.

‘Local extinction’

“Climate change-related local extinction among species greatly exceeded those of colonisation, contributing to pronounced bumble bee species decline across both Europe and North America.” 

Research in the UK last year found that many species of bee were already extinct, and others are on the brink of extinction. 

Analysis concluded that climate change, habitat loss and pollution were the main contributors to declining numbers. 

Vital

Bees are vital to many crops around the world as they are the world’s top pollinator of foods grown by humans.

Another paper warned that pollinating insects have disappeared from a quarter of their habitats across Britain.

Global figures reveal that 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, leading to warnings of a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”.

Share this article to reveal the threat of climate change to our ecosystems. What can be done to protect bee populations around the world? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Published by Oli Gross

Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation.

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