Pollination by animals is essential for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants. However, due to global warming, pollinating insects continue to decline. But are all species equally vulnerable to rising temperatures?
Which bee or bumblebee is more resistant to global warming? After eight years of research, American scientists have shared the results of their alarming study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B† A total of 20,000 insects from the bee family have been observed in the Rocky Mountains, North America. Goal ? Study how they responded to global warming.
The mountain range was chosen strategically because, according to the research, it is ‘vulnerable’ to climate change. In this area, solitary bees (eg. Osmias) that are small and live underground have been increasing for several years, while the larger and more social ones (the Apis mellifera† Therefore, global warming may lead to natural selection of bees, which worries researchers. And rightly so, the loss of larger bees feeding on honey flowers can lead to a reduction in pollination.
But that’s not all, because if some bee families are in decline, so are the bumblebees. These insects, which play a valuable role in pollinating ecosystems, are said to tolerate less heat (mainly due to the size of their bodies) and therefore be more threatened than bees from climate change.
As a reminder, according to a report published in 2019, nearly half of all insect species in the world are declining, and a third could disappear within 100 years.