Bumblebees are Becoming Extinct

Bumblebees are becoming extinct. In the last twenty years bumblebees have declined 96 percent. Not only are bumblebees becoming extinct, so are honey bees and solitary bees. Bees pollinate more than 235,000 species of plants on the Earth, without them we will become a starving population. The EPA has allowed the use of a toxic insecticide called Clothianidin that is killing off bees that pollinate our crops.

Bees Are in Trouble

Never, ever kill a bee, including bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bees. They are not expendable. We have over 20,000 species of bees and they are crucial for pollinating more than 235,000 species of plants on earth. Bees pollinate more than 110 crops that feed almost 7 billion people. Bees are in trouble. A three year study by the University of Illinois has documented four species of U.S. bees declining by up to 96 percent within the last twenty years.

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In the U.K.,the news is especially distressing. Three species of bumblebees are already extinct, and the other species have been in a serious decline since the 1970s. It’s been found that bees have a low resistance to disease and they have less than a fighting chance against any new pathogens. Even worse, a 17 year study in the Rocky Mountains found global warming is melting snowpacks three weeks earlier, causing glacier lilies to come out weeks sooner. The problem is bees that pollinate the lilies are waking up too late. The survival of the lilies are in question.

All bee species are sensitive to the toxic insecticide Clothianidin, a recent addition to the family of potent synthetic chemicals called neonictinoids.The Environmental Protection Agency allows use of it despite the fact that the scientific study allowing it was flawed. Environmentalists and bee keepers have called on the EPA to recall this toxic insecticide from use. It is linked to the death of billions of bees around the world. Millions of people have signed the AVAAZ.org online petition to outlaw the use of neonictinoids in the U.S. and throughout Europe.

To name a few crops that bumblebees are crucial for pollination, peas, lentils, canola, rape, sunflowers, cranberries, tomatoes, blueberries, chilis, alfalfa, and red clover. Bumblebees large size, long tongues and high frequency buzz helps release pollen from the flower. They are tireless workers who work from dawn to dark. About 19,000 flowering plants on Earth rely on bumblebees to reproduce.

Research at Queen Mary University in London show that bumblebees in the U.K. can find the answer to complex math problems that keep computers busy for days. Their brains are small but bumblebees can find the shortest distance between nectar and pollen patch. It settles the problem of how to service all locations on route.

It’s a wake up call for all nations. Without bumblebees and other bees ,we could not grow enough food to feed the population. The result would be a starving world. We should all pitch in and call our Representatives, and do everything in our power to see that toxic chemicals are banned.

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23 Responses to “Bumblebees are Becoming Extinct”
  1. alvinwriter Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 1:20 am

    This article should create enough buzz for people to be aware of the potential extinction of bees.

  2. pruelpo Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Interesting topic dude. The EPA should answer this. Nice sharing.

  3. jennifer eiffel01 Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 1:37 am

    We don’t intentionally kill any kind of insect outside, but a lot of times insects de in our pool.

  4. lapasan Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Many plants and animal species became extinct. And now some species of bumble bee are threatened. Governments should make moves to protect the bees.

  5. CHIPMUNK Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 2:10 am

    interesting info didn’t think about bumble bees,

  6. LCM Linda Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Sad to hear that such a useful animal are becoming extinct. Humans have to be more careful and do more to protect the Earth and all the living things.

  7. tanny15 Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Very informative and great share about bumble bees.

  8. petercurtis97 Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 3:19 am

    I have just read an article on ecosystems and bees weigh in well

  9. Lady Sunshine Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 3:46 am

    And whose fault is that? Us humans, of course.

  10. anndavey650 Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I’m from the UK and we have just banned the chemical in question…. I wish scientists would stop playing around with our crops, it’s the fertilizers and pest control chemicals that do this!

  11. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Why is the EPA still allowing that pesticide to be used?

  12. Titanium Pen Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Yes, this is true. Killing too much bees can have a big effect on the ecology of the world.

    Wonder if killing all mosquitoes will have a positive effect on the world. It would save many lives, but will there be the result of overpopulation.

  13. J M Lennox Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

    That’s so sad to hear, but very good to be aware of. Thanks.

  14. Francois Hagnere Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    You are so right Ruby! EPA has actually made many mistakes, unfortunately. A great post, I hope many will read this alert.
    Thank you.

  15. genicuta Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

    nice share.

  16. Xandine Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Same problem in the UK, I did a survey for a university here on a local nest. Great article

  17. vijayanths Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Informative post.

  18. Freethinking Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Yes, the bumble bee plays such an integral part in crop pollination and in providing us with the sweetness of their nectar in the form of honey. I agree with you that we should never poison or kill these wonderful creatures, put here to assist us in the growing of our food supply.

  19. Erin Miller Says...

    On February 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    We got to save those bees. Personally, I don’t like honey but bees can’t become extinct!

  20. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On February 25, 2011 at 4:29 am

    I had heard there has been a big decline in the bee population in Britain. It is so sad and we must do what we can to preserve them. A very informative piece, Ruby.

  21. yes me Says...

    On February 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    A great share this Ruby, I was watching something on the box last year, on this and a day or two later… I am sure I saw a news clip, where they say they have found something that is working for the bee’s… the whole planet would b affected, with the loss of many different plant, and crops would disappear after the bees… then I guess a whole lot of humans too, liked it lots Ruby cheers

  22. Judy Kaelin Says...

    On February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Excellent report!

  23. VikingBerserker Says...

    On February 27, 2011 at 4:15 am

    If bees are so critical in the production of food crops (as the article mentioned), then would there not be a drop in pollination/food production with the drop in the # of bees?

    A good chunk of the bees in the US today come from those imported from Europe starting in the 1600’s so something obviously was doing the job before them and I cannot find any evidence that states the native bees did the majority of pollination before that period.

    While it seems the chemical mentioned needs to be banned, I think it’s an extreme leap to assume that if the bees collapse, there is going to be mass famines and 19,000 different plants will cease to exist.

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