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Endangered Species Day

Thousands of species are in a global decline, which is why Endangered Species Day is more important than ever! Today, we are highlighting the issues that are impacting bees and how we can help the Earth continue to thrive.

Climate Change and Bees

Climate change is one of the biggest factors in pushing a species towards endangerment or extinction. Rising temperatures and changing weather patterns can cause an environment to become inhabitable and many of our beloved bees species are experiencing this right now. This can result in a species disappearing from their native habitat, which means that they have either moved elsewhere or died. This creates potentially devastating changes to the overall ecosystem of that environment.

Many bumblebee species are struggling, which leads to a decrease in biodiversity and can drastically impair ecosystems. In a recent study, scientists examined the abundance of 66 species of bumblebees across two continents. They found that areas that have experienced extreme temperature swings cause bee populations to be less abundant (CNN 2020).

The last five years have been the hottest ever recorded in the 139 years by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (source). However, it is not only climate change that has affected the bee population. Another factor that is putting bee populations in danger is the increasing use of pesticides on plants, which causes plants to become toxic to bees. These main drivers are causing a decrease in population, which will create problems for future generations.

Why Bees Are Important

Bees are vital for sustaining our way of living, as they are incredibly important pollinators. They specialize in spreading pollen and fertilizing many types of flowers and crucial agricultural crops. One honey bee colony can pollinate more than 100 million flowers a day and bees account for the pollination of at least one-third of the world’s food!

How Can We Help Protect the Bees?

Creating more green spaces and planting native flowers in urban environments can give bees more food to eat and more habitat to shelter in. Avoiding pesticides, leaving leaf litter untouched in your garden, and buying local produce are other ways you can help out our pollinator friends!

For this Endangered Species Day, take a look at the Endangered Species Coalition for more information on how to get involved, like participating in their all-day “What’s In My Backyard?” event tomorrow on May 16, 2020. People around the world will take photos and identify local species with the free iNaturalist app. Find out more here!


Written by Haley Todd and Maegan Chan

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