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      Global Trends in Bumble Bee Health

      1 , 2

      Annual Review of Entomology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Bumble bees ( Bombus) are unusually important pollinators, with approximately 260 wild species native to all biogeographic regions except sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. As they are vitally important in natural ecosystems and to agricultural food production globally, the increase in reports of declining distribution and abundance over the past decade has led to an explosion of interest in bumble bee population decline. We summarize data on the threat status of wild bumble bee species across biogeographic regions, underscoring regions lacking assessment data. Focusing on data-rich studies, we also synthesize recent research on potential causes of population declines. There is evidence that habitat loss, changing climate, pathogen transmission, invasion of nonnative species, and pesticides, operating individually and in combination, negatively impact bumble bee health, and that effects may depend on species and locality. We distinguish between correlational and causal results, underscoring the importance of expanding experimental research beyond the study of two commercially available species to identify causal factors affecting the diversity of wild species.

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          Most cited references 136

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          Rapid changes in flowering time in British plants.

          The average first flowering date of 385 British plant species has advanced by 4.5 days during the past decade compared with the previous four decades: 16% of species flowered significantly earlier in the 1990s than previously, with an average advancement of 15 days in a decade. Ten species (3%) flowered significantly later in the 1990s than previously. These data reveal the strongest biological signal yet of climatic change. Flowering is especially sensitive to the temperature in the previous month, and spring-flowering species are most responsive. However, large interspecific differences in this response will affect both the structure of plant communities and gene flow between species as climate warms. Annuals are more likely to flower early than congeneric perennials, and insect-pollinated species more than wind-pollinated ones.
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            Rapid shifts in plant distribution with recent climate change.

            A change in climate would be expected to shift plant distribution as species expand in newly favorable areas and decline in increasingly hostile locations. We compared surveys of plant cover that were made in 1977 and 2006-2007 along a 2,314-m elevation gradient in Southern California's Santa Rosa Mountains. Southern California's climate warmed at the surface, the precipitation variability increased, and the amount of snow decreased during the 30-year period preceding the second survey. We found that the average elevation of the dominant plant species rose by approximately 65 m between the surveys. This shift cannot be attributed to changes in air pollution or fire frequency and appears to be a consequence of changes in regional climate.
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              Pesticide Residues and Bees – A Risk Assessment

              Bees are essential pollinators of many plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural crops alike. In recent years the decline and disappearance of bee species in the wild and the collapse of honey bee colonies have concerned ecologists and apiculturalists, who search for causes and solutions to this problem. Whilst biological factors such as viral diseases, mite and parasite infections are undoubtedly involved, it is also evident that pesticides applied to agricultural crops have a negative impact on bees. Most risk assessments have focused on direct acute exposure of bees to agrochemicals from spray drift. However, the large number of pesticide residues found in pollen and honey demand a thorough evaluation of all residual compounds so as to identify those of highest risk to bees. Using data from recent residue surveys and toxicity of pesticides to honey and bumble bees, a comprehensive evaluation of risks under current exposure conditions is presented here. Standard risk assessments are complemented with new approaches that take into account time-cumulative effects over time, especially with dietary exposures. Whilst overall risks appear to be low, our analysis indicates that residues of pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides pose the highest risk by contact exposure of bees with contaminated pollen. However, the synergism of ergosterol inhibiting fungicides with those two classes of insecticides results in much higher risks in spite of the low prevalence of their combined residues. Risks by ingestion of contaminated pollen and honey are of some concern for systemic insecticides, particularly imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, chlorpyrifos and the mixtures of cyhalothrin and ergosterol inhibiting fungicides. More attention should be paid to specific residue mixtures that may result in synergistic toxicity to bees.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Entomology
                Annu. Rev. Entomol.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4170
                1545-4487
                January 07 2020
                January 07 2020
                : 65
                : 1
                : 209-232
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA;
                [2 ]School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois 61790, USA;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-ento-011118-111847
                © 2020

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