21 Jun '12, 11am

Bye bye bumblebee: Honeybees aren’t the only pollinators in danger

Not so long ago, it was difficult to venture outdoors anywhere on the East Coast without encountering the rusty-patched bumblebee . Named for a small brown patch on their abdomens, these bumblebees have been pollinating plum, apple, alfalfa, and other crops since long before farmers came to rely so heavily on boxed and trucked European honeybees . Amid the plague of colony collapse disorder (CCD), some farmers are looking back to native pollinators like the rusty-patched bumblebee — as well as hummingbirds and butterflies — to help ensure that the nation can continue growing food. And in the process, they’re discovering a stinging reality that researchers have known for more than a decade: Many of North America’s once-plentiful bumblebee species have all but disappeared. The rusty-patched bumblebee and yellow-banded bumblebee have been among the hardest-hit in the nation’s...

Full article: http://grist.org/food/bye-bye-bumblebee-honeybees-arent-t...

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Gonna shut down and soon. Moving posts to and daphnemaia.sg. Bye, @posterous!

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