Bumblebees are going extinct as a direct result of climate change. A new report by the University of Ottawa has found evidence that suggests the odds for bumblebee survival have dropped by at least 30% since the 20th century began.
The reason for this decline is that the temperatures have increased beyond what a bumblebee can handle. In simpler terms, it is too hot for bumblebees to survive. This will only get worse as our planet grows hotter.
What Did the Report Look At?
This report used research between 1901 and 1974 to determine the bee populations around the world in the 20th century. To compare, it used information from 2000 to 2015 to figure out the populations in the 21st century.
The report looked at the probabilities that a bumblebee would still live in a specific location. In some cases, the difference was small. In other instances, like North America, you could see a 46% decline in the chances of the population still living there.
Essentially, bumblebees are moving to new areas where they were not previously to escape the warming climates. However, this is like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.
Eventually, they will run out of places to go, which has led to a sharp decline in population numbers.
It’s Not Just Climate Change
While the temperature change is the biggest factor, it is not the only one.
Another problem that bumblebees and other insects face is pesticides. These pesticides reduce the number of flowers available to the bees and that, of course, is hurting the species as a whole.
In this regard, bumblebees face the exact same issue that butterflies are facing. Not being able to reach flowers is essentially a death sentence.
If we want to protect bumblebees and biodiversity as a whole, we need to implement more insect and animal-friendly methods for protecting crops.