Bumblebees are important native pollinators in temperate regions (i.e. most of Canada and the U.S). In North America,
we have not paid much interest in them until very recently. The collapse of commercial honey bee colonies has raised
awareness about how much we rely on bees for the pollination of our crops. Not only do they provide us with fruits
and vegetables, bumblebees have also evolved with native flowering plants and through pollination provide many wild
birds and mammals with food and shelter.
We have evidence that in North America some of our bumblebee species are going extinct. In fact, one species
known from Oregon and California (Franklin's Bumblebee) has recently been listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered.
Scientists are quickly trying to figure out what is causing these declines so we can start conserving what we have left.
Currently, the suspected threats to wild bumblebees are:
Habitat Loss (i.e.places to nest and the right flowers to feed from)
2) Widespread Pesticide Use
Introduction of Disease from Managed Bees
4) Climate Change