Photos by Barry Wallace
Pollen-covered bumblebee on Daylily
I have not researched this but I have seen fewer and fewer bumblebees in my backyard over the last two years. Previously, I would see many bumblebees in the garden throughout the days in the spring, summer and fall. Now I may see only a few, off and on, each day. I have read that the Yellow-banded Bumblebee has declined recently by a third in areas across southern Canada due to pesticide use, habitat conversion and pathogen spillover from managed bee colonies. Scientists are saying that bumblebees are losing ground at the southern edge of their ranges in North America to other species groups, such as butterflies, that are expanding further north and into colder areas. But bumblebees are not adjusting to changing climes. They are being squeezed on the southern end of their range but are not expanding their range northward, despite being cold-weather hardy. Scientists are greatly concerned about the future of wild bees because they are a large part of the countrywide pollination process. They are always welcome in our backyard.
Please comment if you wish.