Bumblebees are an essential part of nature as they are one of the main contributors to pollination, especially for wildflowers and crops. Climate change, due to the increase in temperature, is one of the biggest reasons for the population decline in insect pollinators, including bumblebees.
Climate change is one of the biggest reasons for the population decline in bumblebees.
Scientists at the Imperial College London and several museums, including the Natural History Museum, have recently released their papers surrounding bumblebees. Which outlines that climate change is causing stress to the bees. The scientists have linked this to the changes in weather as the bees are not adapted to the hotter and wetter weather conditions we have been facing.
Specimens of bumblebees from four UK species going back to the 1900s were tested and examined, to find indicators of stress on the bees’ wings. Scientists have seen through their findings that bees have been impacted by stress as they have developed.
A major indicator of stress is how asymmetrical bumblebees’ wings are, an increase in asymmetry is a clear indicator of increased stress. Scientists have found that the asymmetry has increased in the bees they examined, proving that the bees have suffered from stress.
Imperial College London’s, Dr. Richard Gill from the Department of Life Sciences stated that, “With hotter and wetter conditions predicted to place bumblebees under higher stress, the fact these conditions will become more frequent under climate change means bumblebees may be in for a rough time over the 21st century.”
Dr. Gill’s predictions may become reality if we continue to warm up the planet by emitting greenhouse gases, which will cause further stress on bumblebees and other insect pollinators. This could potentially cause pollinator populations to decrease further.