Humans need bumble bees—and they are disappearing faster than we thought | Popular Science

Within just one human generation, the odds for bumble bee survival have dropped by an average of more than 30 percent, according to a new study.

As global temperatures rise and precipitation rates grow more extreme, bumble bees are likely to have trouble adapting to their environments. Additionally, expected heatwaves and droughts will create super dry environments, which could harm the flowers that the insects depend on for food.

European bumble bee survival rates fell by an average of 17 percent between 1975 and 2000, while North American ones dropped by about 46 percent over the same period, according to the recent research published this week in Science.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa created a model to estimate the likelihood of bumble bee decline among 66 different species found throughout North America and Europe: the projections incorporate each species’ individual temperature and precipitation tolerances, which are now increasingly challenged by a warming planet.
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