Michigan Study Reveals Bumble Bee Declines
A study led by Michigan State University shows that populations of half the bumble bee species found in the state have declined by more than 50%. Study results, published in Ecology, compared the distribution of 12 different bumble bee species across the state before and after the year 2000. The species that have declined the most are the rusty patched bumble bee, American bumble bee, yellow banded bumble bee, and yellow bumble bee. Species that depend on fewer species of plants were the most likely to decline, particularly as habitat for those plants is lost. Bumble bees are important pollinators not only for wild seeds and berries that wildlife depend upon, but also for many human food crops including blueberries.