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Thursday, February 13, 2020


Bumblebees face extinction, and one of the main causes is human driven climate change that makes the number of extremely hot days to skyrocket (P).

Three researchers from the University of Ottawa and the University College London, indeed, checked long-term data about 66 species of bumble bees buzzing in North America and Europe. The scientists wanted to find out whether "increasing frequency of hotter temperatures predicts species’ local extinction risk, chances of colonizing a new area, and changing species richness" (P).
Well, dear reader, as just stated, it does.

This dumb blog, on the following cartoon, reports the bumblebees' thoughts on the matter.

Bumblebees talk of climate change pushing them on the verge of extinction (by @sciencemug)
Bumblebees talk of extinction and climate change (by @sciencemug)

[Bumblebee pic by Windslash is under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license (source: flickr); adapted by @sciencemug]

Paper (P)
Soroye, P., Newbold, T., and Kerr, J. (2020). Climate change contributes to widespread declines among bumble bees across continents. Science 367, 685–688.


Dear reader, I am here to provide You with some useful insight that will complete, if not provide at all, the information the utterly poorly thought and written so called mini-post of this blog (of which, unfortunately I am compelled by fate to be a part of) is about.
In the hope of being of service.
My best regards.

In an attempt of providing You, esteemed reader, with a fruition experience as uniform as possible, in the following lines I tried to mimic the cheap sense of humor and light/childish tone used by this pitiful blog.

The researchers, in their above mentioned paper (P), add that the same mechanism that is making bumblebees facing extinction may also contribute to a general biodiversity loss.

And, dear listener, this biodiversity loss thing would be pretty bad for you humans.

Specifically, without bumble bees and bees in general, well, you’ll find yourselves very much in trouble (besides being left with just a character from crappy sci-fi movies and no more actual adorable little bees).

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (the FAO), indeed, “it is estimated that about one third of all plants or plant products eaten by humans are directly or indirectly dependent on bee pollination. More than half of the world’s diet of fat and oil comes from oil seeds such as cotton, rape, sunflower, coconut, groundnut and oil palm. Even though some of these have special pollinators belonging to other types of insects, these plants all depend on, or benefit from bee pollination to some extent. In addition, many food crops and forage for cattle are grown from seeds of insect-pollinated plants.” (1)

Moreover, a 2017 study by Miller-Struttmann et al (2) says that the decline in bee pollinators, and therefore their services to flowering plants worldwide, can potentially negatively impact more than 85% of flowering plants and of course human health too. The losses for the agricultural compound alone would be over 200 billion bucks per year globally (namely almost a third of Switzerland or Soudi Arabia GDP), and the costs from diminished pollination services in wild ecosystems would most probably be way higher.

Just to make some examples, dear listener, a 2019 research paper by Wahengbam et al (3) reports that without bee pollination services there won’t be anymore superior quality apple, strawberry, cucurbits, citrus, mandarin, apricot, blackberry, blueberries and so on

1- FAO (2008). The value of bees for crop pollination. Date of accessed : 15-04-2019.
2- Miller-Struttmann, N.E., Heise, D., Schul, J., Geib, J.C., and Galen, C. (2017). Flight of the bumble bee: Buzzes predict pollination services. PLOS ONE 12, e0179273.
3- Wahengbam, J., Raut, A., Pal, S., and Banu, N. (2019). Role of Bumble Bee in Pollination. Annals of Biology 35, 290–295.

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