Bumblebee could be canary in global warming mine
The Kansas City Star
Repeated heavy snowfalls and cold temperatures add fuel to global warming deniers.
Never mind that the temperature of the Earth keeps creeping up, and irrefutable evidence points to humankind’s industrial planet poisoning. What the deniers may not be able to dismiss is the disappearance of species.
Global warming changes the habitat for aquatic creatures and those on land. Some species are large. Others seem insignificantly small — like bumblebees.
But small, disappearing creatures like the bumblebees do massive amounts of work to benefit the planet’s agriculture. Yet, global warming deniers and the rest of us may have no choice but to contend with the extinction of the bumblebee in the Midwest. It would have an immediate effect on our survival.
The Associated Press reports that studies in the journal Science say that wild bees like the American bumblebee are dwindling at an alarming rate possibly from disease or parasites. The bees are vital in pollinating flowers and crops, which people need for food.
A 1890s southern Illinois naturalist, Charles Robertson, collected and categorized insects. Laura Burkle of Montana State University went back to the Midwest location to see what had changed and found only half the wild bees that Robertson found. She found only one yellow-and-black American bumblebee.
Houston, we have a problem.