Spring and warmer weather came. But with them came many insects, including pollinators.
Some plants, like tomatoes, can only be pollinated by bumblebees.
Unlike the honey bee, they also pollinate in the rain, cold, and wind. Without them, fruit trees would often remain unpollinated.Assoc. dr. Danilo Bevk, National Institute of Biology
“They are also very fast – they pollinate up to four times as many flowers as a bee in the same amount of time.”
Bumblebees, similar to the honey bee, live in communities. However, their families are much smaller and live for a shorter time. They are formed in the spring and fall apart by autumn.
Most bumblebee species nest underground in abandoned nests of small mammals or on the surface of the ground in moss and clumps of grass.
They should not be aggressive, but they do have stingers and could sting us. Unlike the honey bee, bumblebess survive after they sting.
So far 35 species of bumblebees have been found in Slovenia.
“Unfortunately, we notice that there are fewer and fewer of them. The reason is the changes in the environment caused by humans,” adds Danilo Bevk.
First of all, it is the lack of food and safe nesting places. In some places it is the pesticides and diseases. They are also negatively affected by climate change, he says.
A further decline in the number of bumblebees could have a negative impact on food production because honey bees cannot replace them.
Bumblebees probably did not disappear anywhere as a whole group, but some species of bumblebee may have disappeared in a certain area and others have newly arrived.Janko Božič, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana
In some places bumblebees are imported for pollination purposes.
This can threaten local populations with species coming from another environment. Because of this, pathogens can be transmitted to other species.’
A pathogen causes disease.
Points to Consider
- Why is pollination important?
- Which is the native Slovenian bee?
- Do you know any other pollinators?
The original version of this article was published on May 22nd.