What’s Happening to the American Bumble Bee

Are American bumble bees flying off into thin air? Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was not something that was affecting all bees, just the honey gatherers. At least that's how it started. Now it seems that the American bumble bee is also at threat from disappearing.

My Notes

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in recent years some beekeepers have reported losses in hive populations of up to 90 percent. Even today, the root cause or causes of CCD are still largely unknown. Pesticides, parasites and fungus have all taken some blame, but the truth is that no one really knows, not for sure. This is a huge problem on a global scale, and it's a headache for beekeepers and scientists alike. But now there's a new threat.  This time it’s the reductions in the numbers of American bumble bees that's causing a lot of concern.

Dead and Dying Bumblebees

First it was the American bumble bees, and now we're seeing them disappear all over the world. Research is now blaming this latest phenomenon on climate change. Whatever the cause is, this could add to the already serious problem of CCD among the honey bees. It's not being dramatic to say that this could result in a catastrophe for pollinating crops in both Europe and North America.

It seems that the bumble bees can't tolerate the rising heat. It's quite normal to find a few dead bees in and around gardens and parks because that’s most likely where they’ve been living. They don't live very long either, a few weeks at best. But more dead bees and less sight of these buzzing insects seem to be the new norm in places where they were once common during summer months.

Other Causes for the Decline

Climate change aside, there are likely other causes that contribute to the decline of bumble bees. Most countries are seeing some dramatic changes to their countryside for one. Agricultural techniques are constantly evolving too. Just 50 years ago there were plenty of wildflowers in the natural landscape. Today, many landscapes are anything but natural, and there are far fewer wild flowers because of it. With these things combined, it's no wonder bumble bees are finding it a struggle just to survive. This is yet another example of how the destructive nature of man is destroying the world. If we keep it up, there won't be anything left to destroy in just a few generations from now.

Below is a study by the American Museum of Natural History which looks into the modern day plight of declining bee populations.

Study: Bumble Bees Decline, Other Species Persist in Northeastern USA
By AMNH on 03/04/2013 03:05 pm


In the UK alone, since the 1930s scientists estimate the British countryside has lost around 97 percent of its flower-rich grassland. In other European countries it will be a similar story.  This is bad news because almost all bees rely solely on flowers as their source of food. Take away the food from any living thing and its demise is inevitable.

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