Bumblebees - Native North American Pollinators Need Your Help!

The following excerpts are taken from:

"Bumblebees (of the genus Bombus) are common native bees and important pollinators in most areas of North America."

"Bumblebees are important pollinators for many wildflowers. There are 49 species of bumblebees in the United States, which can be separated into three different classes of proboscis (tongue) length: short, medium, and long."

"A reason bumble bees are important pollinators is their behavior of buzzing, or sonicating, flowers that require this behavior for pollination. For example, tomatoes and some other flowers in that plant family don’t produce nectar but the bees visit them anyway in order to collect pollen, which they do by vibrating their wing muscles (making a buzzing noise) to shake pollen grains out of the anthers. As one of the few species of commercially developed pollinators, a few species of bumblebees have been shipped to a variety of places around the world where they are not native but are wanted for greenhouse pollination."

"In the past few years, it appears that two species of bumblebees have gone extinct in the USA. Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklini) is (or was) an endemic species with the most restricted geographic range of any bumblebee in North America and possibly the world. Its range, known at one time to span from southwest Oregon to northwest California, was quite restricted, but it has not been found despite intensive searches during the past few summers."


"There are more than 3500 species of solitary bees in North America. Also called pollen bees or native bees, these efficient pollinators often do the lion's share of pollinating crops."

"Although the number of pollen bees has also declined, due to pesticide use and habitat destruction, pollen bees are unaffected by mites and Africanized bees, and many can be managed and used in commercial agriculture."

"Bumble, digger, and sweat bees make up the bulk of pollen bees in most parts of the country."

See also:
from audubonmagazine.org
from www.capitalpress.info

What You Can Do

Reducing Pesticide Use

for Pollinators

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