Rising temperatures affecting bees

Science & Technology

Global temperature increases have posed risks for life over land and ocean alike, but what about our pollinating friends in the air? Researchers from Imperial College London have measured the relationship between bumblebee flight performance and surrounding temperature and found that frequent extreme weather events could push them past their limits. 

Daniel Kenna from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, said that more extreme weather events, such as cold snaps and the unprecedented heatwaves experienced in recent years, could consistently push temperatures beyond the comfortable flight range for certain species of bumblebees. He added, “These risks are particularly pertinent for ‘fixed colony’ pollinators like bumblebees, which cannot shift their position within a season if conditions become unfavorable, and potentially provide a further explanation as to why losses have been observed at species’ southern range limits.” He also noted that although rising temperatures will negatively impact bees down south in warmer climates, it may help with bee flight in cooler, northern-latitude areas such as NYS.

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