Bumblebees Are Back

Bumblebees Are Back

Bumble Bees Are Back. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Bombus occidentalis has been on the missing list. But good news, it has been found. You would know Bombus as the western bumblebee and for some time now it has not been seen in Washington State. Now sightings on the west side are exciting entomologists. The Ag Networks Lacy Gray has more.

GRAY: Scientists are “almost giddy” with the reappearance of the western bumblebee which up until the mid-1990’s was one of the key pollinators on the west coast but has since disappeared from central California to British Columbia and that has scientists perplexed. Entomologists and bee enthusiasts have been heading to a suburban park north of Seattle where the bumblebee has been going about its business of collecting pollen. Several queens have been sighted as well which is giving scientists a boost. One popular theory into the decline is that American-bred western queens shipped to Europe likely were exposed there to a fungus that might have spread and devastated wild North American bumblebee populations when infected European-bred bees were transported back to the United States.

Thanks Lacy. The re-emergence may mean that a population resistant to the fungus has emerged. But that is one theory. For now scientists will continue to photograph and study Bombus occidentalis with excitement.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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