Canada’s wild pollinators are in decline and without a national pollinator plan, many species could be heading for extinction, like the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee or the American bumblebee, say researchers at York University.
Wild bees living in cities like Toronto are facing increased environmental stressors compared to those in rural and even suburban areas, such as more pathogens and parasites, found researchers at York University.
With pollinators, like bees, pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops around the globe, protecting them from further decline is important for humans and ecosystems alike. On World Bee Day, May 20, people’s bee-haviour can go a long way towards providing food and creating and preserving bee habitats.
Climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94 per cent loss of plant-pollinator networks, York University researchers found.
As people flock to garden stores to start freshening up their winter tired yards and gardens, it’s a good time to think of bee-friendly plants, especially as May 20 is World Bee Day, says Assistant Professor Sheila Colla, an expert in native bees and conservation.
How valuable is community science to research? A survey of participants at Bumble Bee Watch, a community and research collaboration to track and conserve bumble bees in North America, found users are well educated and strongly motivated to save bees, say York University researchers. Bumble Bee Watch is a community science program where participants submit photos of bumble bees from across Canada and the United States for expert verification. The data can be used to help better understand bumble bee biology and aid in their conservation. But who is doing the submitting and is it enough?