Long-term Bee Study Shows Effect of Extreme Weather

A 15-year study of wild bees visiting blueberry fields in Michigan highlighted the impact of extreme weather on pollinators. The study was published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. This long-term study is one of few that utilize the same methods year after year, so its results are especially valuable. Researchers found that 2012 was a noteworthy year in the study period. A warm spring was followed by a late freeze and then a hot summer. This led to a 61% decline in bee numbers for the following study period. Although some wild bee populations recovered quickly from the event, others experienced years of slow recovery. Researchers say this study highlights the need to develop programs that monitor wild bees across the United States.