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Permalink Study Shows Warmer Temperatures Could Drive Warm-Climate Bee Populations to Extinction

A study from Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden has found that climate change may drive local extinction of mason bees in Arizona and other naturally warm climates. This study focused on the blueberry mason bee, a primary pollinator of manzanita shrubs in the wild. Over the course of the two-year study simulating a warmer climate in the bees' nests, 35% of bees died in the first year and 70% died in the second year. The bees in the warmer nests emerged from diapause over a much longer period of time and with smaller bodies and less body fat. This limited their ability to feed and reproduce successfully. "The projected temperatures appear to be pushing this species up against its physiological limits," said Northwestern’s Paul CaraDonna, who led the research. "This is evidence that we might see local extinction in the warmer parts of this species' range, which is pretty sobering."

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