The Buzz About Bumble Bees Isn’t Good
Wood et al. at Michigan State University | 4/23/2019 | Via ScienceDaily
While many scientists are focused on the decline of honey bees, relatively few study bumble bees. The good news is that a new study provides an estimate on bumble bee population and distributions across Michigan in the past century. The bad news is that these results are dramatically low, and they mirror what’s happening across the Americas, Europe and Asia, too.
“In Michigan, there are 19 species of bumble bees and around 445 species of other bees,” said Wood, who led the study in the lab of Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomologist. “Many of Michigan’s key crops depend on them. In fact, about 50 percent of cherry pollination is carried out by wild bees.”Wood’s team scoured the state of Michigan and compared the distribution of 12 different bumble bee species across the state’s 83 counties before and after the year 2000. Some of the biggest declines include:
- Rusty patched bumble bee — 100%
- American bumble bee — 98%
- Yellow banded bumble bee — 71%
- Yellow bumble bee — 65%