Navigation Links
New research confirms plight of bumble bees, persistence of other bees in Northeast

A new study shows that although certain bumble bees are at risk, other bee species in the northeastern United States persisted across a 140-year period despite expanding human populations and changing land use. Led by Rutgers University and based extensively on historical specimens from the American Museum of Natural History and nine other bee collections, the study informs conservation efforts aimed at protecting native bee species and the important pollinator services they provide. The results are published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Eighty-seven percent of the world's flowering plants, including most of the leading global food crops, are pollinated by animals. Bees are considered the most important pollinators because of their efficiency, specificity, and ubiquity. However, despite concerns about pollinator declines, long-term data on the status of bee species are scarce.

In the new study, the researchers used new web-based software to compile 30,000 museum specimen records representing 438 bee species.

"A novel aspect of this study was the use of collaborative online tools that allowed data to be captured quickly and accurately across 10 institutions, many of which lacked pre-existing capabilities in this area," said John Ascher, a research scientist in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology and an author on the paper who led the data-collection effort.

From the years 1872 to 2011, the authors observed slight declines in the number of bee species in comparable samples from the northeastern United States. Statistical analysis revealed that only three species exhibited a rapid and recent population collapseall species of bumble bees, which also have been shown to be declining in previous studies. Other species, including the oil bee Macropis patellata, showed more gradual declines.

Although few species were found to have severely declined, more than half of all bee species changed in proportion over time, with 29 percent of the species decreasing and 27 percent increasing. Bees that showed the greatest increase are mostly exotic species that were introduced to North America. Few such species were present in the earliest historical samples but they make up an ever-increasing proportion of more recent samples.

"Environmental change affects species differentially, creating 'losers' that decline with increased human activity but also 'winners' that thrive in human-altered environments," said Ignasi Bartomeus, lead author on the paper who conducted this work as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University. "Certain traits can make species more vulnerable."

The scientists found that declining bee species tend to have larger body sizes, restricted diets, and shorter flight seasons.

They also revealed that "southern" bees reaching their northern distributional limits in the Northeast are increasing, a finding that could reflect a response to climate change. The average April temperature increased by more than one degree during the last 40 years in the study region, causing bees and their host plants to emerge earlier in the season.

Ongoing data capture will continue to expand the bee database so that statistical analyses can be applied across a broader geographic area and to a wider range of species, especially those that are rare in collections and potentially of greatest conservation concern.


Contact: Kendra Snyder
American Museum of Natural History

Related biology news :

1. Biometrics Market Research Updates From Global Information
2. Researchers id queens, mysterious disease syndrome as key factors in bee colony deaths
3. Illinois town provides a historical foundation for todays bee research
4. Research unearths new dinosaur species
5. New method for researching understudied malaria-spreading mosquitoes
6. Fighting GM crop vandalism with a government-protected research site
7. Sequester will have a devastating impact on americas research enterprise
8. US and French long-term ecological research networks agree to share knowledge and skills
9. Study led by NUS researchers proves the existence of 3 overstretched DNA structures
10. Research supports promise of cell therapy for bowel disease
11. Sequestration will be a devastating blow to the nations research institutions and scientists
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New research confirms plight of bumble bees, persistence of other bees in Northeast
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In this ... the basis of product, type, application, disease ... in this report are consumables, services, software. ... are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation ... report are diagnostics development, drug discovery and ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced broader entry into the automotive market with ... match the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. ... are ideal for the automotive industry and will be ... Europe , Japan ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Oct. 29, 2015   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of ... in the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The ... and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it ... as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme ... a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. , ... , --> --> The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 2 nouvelles ... fois les différences entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées ... des êtres humains . Ces recherches  ouvrent ... envisager la prise en charge efficace de l,un ... chez les chats .    --> 2 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting ... New York . ... website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation to ... the presentation will be available on the website approximately ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: OREX ... fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th Annual ... The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, at ... A replay will be available for 14 days after ... Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , BrewLife(858) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: