Skyrocketing temperatures and extreme heatwaves worldwide are helping to speed the decline of the bumblebee, new research shows.
A study published Thursday in the journal Science Advances finds that hotter temperatures since 1991 contributed to a 46 percent decline of bee populations across North America and 17 percent in Europe compared to a baseline period.
Bee loss was especially pronounced in areas where temperatures spiked high above the historical average.
“It’s these extreme events throughout the year that’s pushing bees beyond what they’ve ever had to handle before,” lead author Peter Soroye told NPR. “And that seems to be driving a lot of the disappearances in bees.”