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Bees are anything but pests, and take them out of nature and many crops – and therefore many people – would be in dire straits. That cautionary statement isn't rhetorical: Eight U.S. states have completely lost their American bumblebee populations, and others have seen a steep decline in recent years.
In fact, over the last two decades, the American bumblebee population in the U.S. has dropped by a staggering 89 percent, reaching near extinction levels, and it is now heading towards being an endangered species in America for the first time. The states that no longer have bumblebees are New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Pesticides and disease are part of the problem, but so is loss of habitat, mostly caused by climate change.
- The majority of the more than 250 species of bumblebee live in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Unlike honeybees, bumblebees don't usually swarm, and live in relatively small groups.
- Also unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting without dying afterward.