If there were any kind of insect to be given the label “cute,” it would have to be the bumblebee. In addition to being docile and environmentally helpful creatures, they are also among the more friendly species of bee, which makes them easier to study. However, as is becoming more common nowadays, the population of bumblebees in North America is rapidly declining. The frustrating part of this problem is that people know the root of the issue, but continue to do nothing to change it. What is even more disconcerting is that even if the people in power wanted to do something to combat this issue, we are quickly approaching the point where nothing can be done.
According to nationalgeographic.com there are more than 3,000 species of bees in the United States. Of those, about 40 fall under the genus Bombus, the species classified as bumblebees. However scientists have noted a staggering drop in the entirety of the bee population. According to sciencedirect.com, in 2009 the total number of bumblebee colonies were estimated around 72.6 million. Since then there has been a 40% decline, landing them a spot on the endangered species list in 2017, and their numbers have only continued to fall. This is a very prominent problem to the natural balance of the earth. Bumblebees and other pollinators such as honeybees help pollinate the flora that humans need to survive. Removing an entire species of pollinators from the ecosystem spells disaster for the environment as a whole in the future.
There are a number of causes that trace back to the endangerment of bumblebees. One of them is the specific pesticides that farmers use on their crops to protect against pests. Some of these pesticides are toxic to bees and have proven fatal. If these toxic chemicals are introduced to a beehive through the pollen that is collected from those crops, then the entire hive is at risk. The worst part about this is that the farmers responsible are well aware yet are taking very few steps to rectify this mistake. Some have tried other methods that don’t include bee killing chemicals to protect their crops but few have worked. Some have even proven to be just as harmful.
The other main cause of the deaths of bumblebees is the change to the climate. Though so many people try to deny it, the climate is gradually shifting out of balance, causing the globe to grow warmer and warmer. Bees are cold blooded and extremely small. It doesn’t take much to shift them into extreme temperatures, be it hot or cold, and if that happens, they could die. Since the climate is getting warmer, this is causing bees to overheat much quicker and at a more harmful rate.
There have been attempts to pass laws that will combat the falling bee population, however, these laws, projects and proposals continue to be blocked by those in the government due to the fact that many believe that climate change is a hoax. There are real adverse effects. Because of human carelessness, we are losing entire species of animals and insects that are vital to survival. It may just be the bees now, but soon it could be humans. We will not be the only ones suffering if we continue to ignore what is important. If we choose to continue in this way, we may lose our fuzzy, buzzing little pals forever, and that is only the start of what we could lose.