A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.
The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.
Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.
“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”
She says bees’ vital role in plant reproduction including crops makes the findings alarming.
Dramatic declines in recent decades in bee populations also are believed to be linked with parasites, pesticides and loss of habitat.