Bumblebees Are Being Bumped Off by Climate Change, Scientists Say

Alan Boyle, NBC News

Scientists say wild bumblebee species are being squeezed into extinction by climate change in North America and Europe — so much so that some of them might need help from us humans to find safe havens.

Their conclusion, published in this week’s issue of the journal Science, is based on an analysis of more than 423,000 archived observations of 67 bee species, going back to 1901.

The scientists expected to find that the species have moved northward in response to rising temperatures, as other species ranging from flowers to foxes have done.

That’s not what they found. Yes, the bumblebee species dwindled or disappeared in warmer southern climes, retreating an average of about 190 miles (300 kilometers). And in mountainous regions the bees moved up to higher elevations — about 1,000 feet (300 meters) higher, on average. But they didn’t move into cooler, higher-latitude regions.

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