2019: Massive Bee Declines in Michigan since 2000


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 23 April 2019

 

INSECT WORLD

Bumbler in the High Sierra
Bumble Bee in Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite.
Bumbler scraping some salt off me, Jack Main Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Map.

 

Massive Bee Declines in Michigan

The Buzz about Bumble Bees isn't Good,
Michigan State University, April 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Michigan
"In Michigan, there are 19 species of bumble bees and around 445 species of other bees."

Michigan
“...half of the bumble bee species studied have declined by more than 50%.”

World
“...mirror(s) what's happening across the Americas, Europe and Asia, too.”

Vital Eco-Services
"Bumble bees are important pollinators of plants across natural habitats, where they help support the seeds and berries that birds and other animals depend on."

Vital Human Services
"They also are effective pollinators of many fruits and vegetables that are important for healthy human diets."

Michigan Bee Count
“...compared the distribution of 12 different bumble bee species across the state's 83 counties before and after the year 2000.”

“biggest declines

Rusty patched bumble bee  –100%

American bumble bee          –98%

Yellow banded bumble bee –71%

Yellow bumble bee               –65%

Increased Populations
Common eastern bumble bee +31%

Brown belted bumble bee        +10%

Specialists Bees Declined
"Species that declined collected pollen from fewer species of plants and seem to have a narrower range of plants they visit for pollen."

Generalist Bees Increased
"In contrast, the stable species visit a much wider variety of plants. This suggests that picky eaters are less able to switch if a favorite plant isn't available."

Summer Bees in Trouble
"Most of the declining bumble bee species in Michigan fly in the summer, feeding on prairie plants and other flowers of open countryside."

Habitat Loss
“,,,prairies have been lost over the last century so summer bumble bees may have been hit twice due to a loss of their preferred habitat and a reduced ability to adapt to this change."

 

Bumbler in the High Emigrant
Bumble bee under Mosquito Pass in Emigrant Wilderness on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.
Under Mosquito Pass on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail, Emigrant Wilderness. Map.

 

Bottom Line

The Canaries in Our, "Coal Mine," Are Dying
Our environment and its ecosystems have, like old British miners had in their mines, “canaries,” being creatures who are first sensitive to major ecosystem disruptions, as were the canaries in British mines sensitive to undetected toxic gases, who’s subsequent rapid deaths from those toxic gases warned the miners before the toxics spread, allowing the miners to escape.
Bees, being vitally connected to key timing mechanisms of the Spring Bloom, and blooming in general, play the same role in many ecosystems as the canaries played in British coal mines, and play that role in a whole lot of ecosystems around the world.

The real question here, is, "Are we going the heed the canary-like message of the bees, and escape the toxic people and abandon their, "policies," of greed that are right now killing the canaries in our global, "coal mine?"

Keystone Collapse
Bees, and other keystone insect and bird species, are collapsing around the world, delivering the message that our operating of this particular, “mine,” has become toxic for its most sensitive inhabitants, and presents growing dangers to the rest of us. It behooves us to remove the source of the bee’s demise, before the same mechanism that’s disrupted the bees inevitably moves up the food chain, and disrupts us.

Save the Bees? That’s a Tall Order!

U-Turn
Saving the bees requires we turn this whole mess around, to turn the world from our current ecologically, social, and politically destructive, “globalized,” trade practices to a set of ideal trade practices, ethics really, that are capable of turning our current, “globalized race to the bottom,” composed of radically declining ecological, social, and political conditions, into a “globalized” race to the top of improving conditions?

This would require both Real Ethics and Real Environmentalism.
First
How about we grab the bull by the horns, or in this case, the bee by the stinger? To effectively confront our collapsing climate and ecology we’ve to shut down the Corporate Growth Machine of Death at its sources, which we find spewing out of the filthy factories and production processes of China & India. The exact same countries and factories exempted from all of our corporate leader's, "global pacts!"
At the very least we’ve got to immediately refuse to accept absolutely any imports from any countries that are not manufactured under the highest environmental standards, from the product’s cradle to grave, from the energy production required to manufacture it, through the energy used during its trans-oceanic shipment to its final market.

Clean it Up
We need to clean the environmental, social, and political corruptions out of, “globalism,” to assure trade has a positive role in humanity’s development, and not continuing as a major contributor to both environmental destruction and political tyranny around the world.

Second
Zero demographic growth. The weight of our expanding megacity populations are crushing both society and nature around the world, and both man & nature are distorting under the pressures generated by our concentrations of collective material greed and emotional desire. This weight must stop growing, and be shrunk to down to levels where man can enjoy nature as they sustain each other.

Preserving Remnants
To save the bees we must first balance our emissions under, first, stable populations, then second, reduce our emissions under declining populations, while not just preserving the quality and standard of life for the average worker, but improving it. We must accomplish these tasks rather quickly, if we want to preserve any remnants of our ancient and traditional weather patterns, which are rapidly slipping away everywhere in the world.

 

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Alaska Bee Characteristics

 

World's Biggest Bee, Thought Lost, Rediscovered

 

 

 

Organic Safety Device

Canaries in the Coal Mines, BBC

 

 

 

Bee Troubles

UK Bees, 2018: 2 of 25 Species Extinct, 8 Endangered

 

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Bee News: Fungiciedes and Insecticides Getting the Bees

 

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BIRDS & INSECTS, A Shared Decline

 

 

 

 

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