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The American Bumblebee Has Vanished From Eight States
#1
Quote:In two decades, the insect’s population has declined by nearly 90 percent due to a combination of threats, including habitat loss, pesticides and diseases
Elizabeth Gamillo Daily Correspondent October 6, 2021

. . . The species has completely vanished from eight states, including Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Oregon, Ben Turner reports for Live Science. The bumblebee species have declined by 99 percent in New York. In the Midwest and Southeast, population numbers have dropped by more than 50 percent.

. . . Depending on the results of a forthcoming year-long review, the American bumblebee could be legally protected under the ESA, which would provide rules and framework for saving the species from extinction, reports Live Science. Currently, only two bumblebee species, the rusty patched and Franklin's, receive ESA protection.

. . . Researchers can trace the bee's plummeting population numbers back to multiple threats, including pesticides, habitat loss, climate change, diseases and competition from non-native honeybees. States with the most significant dip in bee numbers have the largest increase in the use of pesticides like neonicotinoids, insecticides, and fungicides, per Live Science.

www.smithsonianmag.com

The domesticated European honey bee a non-native bee (obviously). I wonder how those are doing right now? Oh, and have a look at the kicker at the end of this article. I probably shouldn't say anything about the bees I might find here, or any other creepy crawly, there are some that are very usual.

Quote:If the bee is placed under federal protection, farmers or developers who harm the insects could face up to $13,000 in fines each time one is killed, Live Science reports.

I think maybe the real consideration here is not the welfare of the iconic bumble bee, but the monetary fine per bee if you are caught eliminating a nest in your awning.

Brandon needs that extra cash to fill the new budget. tinybigeyes
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#2
Here in Europe, I noted more bumblebees than honeybees in the yard this year.

We had a couple of false springs that were really hard on the honeybees.  I would see them dead in pools of water in the morning because they had come out and it got too cold for them.

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#3
(10-10-2021, 03:42 AM)Michigan Swamp Buck Wrote: Oh, and have a look at the kicker at the end of this article. I probably shouldn't say anything about the bees I might find here, or any other creepy crawly, there are some that are very usual.

Quote:If the bee is placed under federal protection, farmers or developers who harm the insects could face up to $13,000 in fines each time one is killed, Live Science reports.


I think maybe the real consideration here is not the welfare of the iconic bumble bee, but the monetary fine per bee if you are caught eliminating a nest in your awning.

Brandon needs that extra cash to fill the new budget.

We have a saying around here that is as old as I am - "it ain't illegal if you don't get caught".

We have bumblebees out the ass around here. If New England is having a shortage, they're more than welcome to import some of these. Just yesterday, I saw a bush shaking in the woods without the benefit of a breeze, so I went to investigate thinking I might get to kill a snake, but instead it was a mass of bumblebees shaking it, working some late blooming flowers.

I noticed that all the states mentioned are northern tier states. If the south is eat up with them, and "climate change" is a factor in their demise, then clearly they thrive in warmer climates - so if those states are warming up due to climate change, shouldn't they be thriving instead?

What it really sounds to me like is that a bunch of scientists need a federal grant to study bumelebee decline, so they invented one to justify some grant money.

Does this mean I might have to stop using bumblebees for target practice with my BB gun?

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#4
I posted this on ATS and two people from states where they supposedly vanished from (North Dakota and Maine) said that they had more bumbles, and less domestic honey bees this year. I noticed that here as well esp. in the early spring, more bumble bees than honey bees that took much longer to show up.

I don't believe this report as it is being spun. I think it's a politically corrupted science report designed to take more money and rights away from people in another government over-reach scheme.

ETA: The last statement is wrong, the article isn't spinning the report, but the source of the petition may be corrupted by political influence as I have posted below. So it may be a politically leftist over reaching money grabber none the less.
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#5
I drilled down into the source documentation and have found the following . . .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned in 2021 by the "Center for Biological Diversity" (a non-profit) and an organization that calls itself the "Bombus Pollinator Association of Law Students of Albany Law School". It's seems that the main driver of this project to save the bumble bee is the Center for Biological Diversity that appears to be radically liberal. 

As for the Albany Law School, Andrew Cuomo went there if that means anything. Not sure how liberal they are there, but this Professor Keith Hirokawa seems to be pretty liberal. 

Quote:Kierán Suckling (born 1964) is one of the founders and the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group known for its innovative approaches to the protection of endangered species, wilderness, clean air and clean water.[1] He has infused the traditionally staid environmental arena with an unusual degree of creative energy, leading New Yorker to dub the Center "the most important radical environmental group in the country" and Suckling a "trickster, philosopher, publicity hound, master strategist, and unapologetic pain in the ass."

Quote:A group of 14 students – with the unofficial moniker the “Bombus Pollinator Association of Law Students” or “BPALS,” for short – and Professor Keith Hirokawa teamed up with the Center for Biological Diversity to file a petition with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on February 1 to add the American bumblebee to the endangered species list through the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Kieran Suckling

Albany Law School

Keith Hirokawa
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#6
Both "Live Science" and the Smithsonian Magazine have a more or less neutral political bias and strong scientific references. See the Media Bias Fact Check and Ad Fontes Media quotes below.


Quote:Overall, we rate Smithsonian Magazine a Pro-Science source based on publishing research-based information on science. We also rate them Very High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing to credible research and a clean fact check record.


Quote:The following are Smithsonian Magazine’s overall bias and reliability scores according to our Ad Fontes Media ratings methodology.
Reliability: 45.50
Bias: -3.72
Reliability scores for articles and shows are on a scale of 0-64. Scores above 24 are generally acceptable; scores above 32 are generally good. Bias scores for articles and shows are on a scale of -42 to + 42, with higher negative scores being more left, higher positive scores being more right, and scores closer to zero being the most neutral and/or balanced.

I guess the Smithsonian and Live Science's political bias may vary depending on the article writer but they are good for their source references apparently. Not much help here, but I suspect their is some left leaning bias in this particular article.
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#7
Ninurta,

Quote:I noticed that all the states mentioned are northern tier states. If the south is eat up with them, and "climate change" is a factor in their demise, then clearly they thrive in warmer climates - so if those states are warming up due to climate change, shouldn't they be thriving instead?

Interesting that these states where the bumble bee has supposedly "vanished" are along the same northern latitude. That certainly makes me question the climate change connection.

It also seems to be in cluster of states like Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and even New York is mentioned. One poster on ATS who is in Massachusetts said they had plenty of bumble bees this year, strange how that isn't in this cluster. Then you have Idaho, Wyoming, and Oregon and North Dakota to the northeast (Wyoming and N. Dakota are other states posters said that they had them there).

I'm tending to believe that the study is fairly limited with little on the historic populations of bees in a given study area. I may be all wrong about that without finding the exact studies they were using to come to the figures given in the Live Science article. I haven't dug that deep yet. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be conducting their study for a year to make a determination.

ETA: Perhaps this is all related to pesticides and herbicides or maybe I can "inject" some conspiracy theories into this one as a bumble bee pandemic of some kind, perhaps due to a novel virus the bees contracted from some other animal like bats. It was a bio-weapon virus created to eliminate all wild pollinators and replace them with GMO bees and other patented pollinators to charge all farmers for the pollination rights.
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#8
I also noted that "neonicotinoid pesticides" were listed among the reputed causes of the alleged decline, so there is potential for it to be a left-handed attack on tobacco growing as well. No matter - I'll keep on keeping on, because "it ain't illegal if you don't get caught".

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




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#9
(10-10-2021, 07:29 PM)Ninurta Wrote: I also noted that "neonicotinoid pesticides" were listed among the reputed causes of the alleged decline, so there is potential for it to be a left-handed attack on tobacco growing as well. No matter - I'll keep on keeping on, because "it ain't illegal if you don't get caught".

That must explain why I haven't seen them on the tobacco blossoms that are still blooming.

I have a correction to make. There aren't as many flowers left in bloom as I thought right now. The little white clovers, flea bane, some goldenrod, a few black eyed Susans, the tobacco, morning glories, pumpkins and squash and the marigolds are all about whats left.

There was nothing but bumble bees out, 5 or 6 on the marigolds only, along with a large yellow jacket as well as a sulfur and a cabbage butterfly. Definitely American bumble bees. All were identical except one was a bit larger and had an all black abdomen. They were all very healthy looking and active.
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#10
Every year here we get less and less bees of all sorts. Bumble bees, carpenter bees and honey bees are becoming fewer and farther between even though each year I plant more and more flowers and there are tons of flowering trees and bushes surrounding us. Those asshole wasps are still plentiful though.
"As an American it's your responsibility to have your own strategic duck stockpile. You can't expect the government to do it for you." - the dork I call one of my mom's other kids
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#11
From my neck of the woods, we had a great bee year. Lot's of varieties and big numbers.

Lot's of Bumble's too. I like them as they don't sting me. Ground hornets on the other hand? I was safer in Iraq.  

I really work on providing acres of good bee habitat and was rewarded. Good stuff to see. 

Loss of habitat really does a bad thing on most wildlife.
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#12
A poster on the other thread pointed out that the American bumble bee is only one type. I looked at a field guide for Michigan and it had 23 different kinds. The American and two others closely resemble each other but their ranges differ. I suspect you'd have to be well researched to prove what type of bumble bees you may find in your area after looking into that.

The bees I saw in the yard today looked like the pictures I found on line and fit the description pretty well, but it's possible I'm too far north for the American bumble bee. I can't really know without some deeper research and real scrutiny like capturing one, measuring it, and studying it carefully, even then I'm no expert and would likely have to find one to verify which bee it is.

ETA: I found a good article for the American bumble bee in Michigan from MSU's Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 

Quote:This species favors prairies and grasslands and is rarely associated with extensive forests. Considered a foraging generalist, this bumble bee will regularly visit floral resources in dunes, marshes, forest edges, farmland and urban areas. Known foraging resources include milk-vetches (Astragalus spp.), thistles (Cirsium spp.), dogwoods (Cornus spp.), prairie-clovers (Dalea spp.), and sunflowers (Helianthus spp.), among other species (Wood et al. 2019). Nests are above ground among tufts of long grass, but occasionally occur underground in old rodent burrows. This species can also occupy agricultural landscapes, however associated pressures such as ground management and pesticides may restrict populations in these areas. Most Bombus queens overwinter in rotten wood or underground (COSEWIC 2010).

https://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/species/descrip...sylvanicus

It looks like my county is in their range and I know where the habitats are, I think I have a chance of identifying some with this information. It is not too likely the ones I saw were American bumble bees here in the woods, but it's possible with the mix of habitat around here.
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