Don’t you forget about bumblebees. While DISCOVER and others have extensively covered the mysterious colony collapse disorder that’s been crashing honeybee populations around the world, bumblebees have not escaped the tide of doom.
Sydney Cameron leads a team that just published a new study of bumblebees in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and tallied up some scary numbers.
The relative abundance of four species of bumble bees over the past few decades has dropped by more than 90%—and those disappearing species are also suffering from low genetic diversity, which makes them that much more susceptible to disease or any other environmental pressures. [TIME]
In addition, the geographic ranges of those species shrunk precipitously—between 23 and 87 percent, depending upon the case. That reduction in range could have catastrophic impacts on agriculture: