THROWBACK THURSDAYS: Plight of the Bumblebee
What happened to the rusty patched bumble bee? How did it go from abundant to endangered in a couple of decades? Elaine Evans, Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology and UMN’s Extension Service, situates the decline of this species within a broader, worrying trend of insect species loss in the US and across the world in her 2016 talk Plight of the Bumblebee: Can We Bring Endangered Bumble Bees Back from the Brink of Extinction?. Beyond the value of biodiversity for its own sake, bees and other insects also pollinate crops that humans depend on. While the situation is dire, there are concrete steps that individuals can take to help bees, from planting flowers to avoiding the use of pesticides and insecticides. And take note, citizen scientists! Bee researchers like Dr. Evans need your help to track bumble bees across the state.