Insect death: why more and more bumblebees are disappearing

Insect death: why more and more bumblebees are disappearing

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Is the bumblebee threatened with extinction?

The number of insects continues to decrease year after year. The global extent of insect death and the exact causes are currently not known, but numerous individual studies confirm the trend. Around every third insect species is threatened with extinction today. A research team investigated the reasons why the western bumblebee (Bombus occidentalis) population is rapidly declining over a period of three years.

Researchers at the University of Wyoming investigated the reasons for the ongoing death of Hummel. It turned out that there is not a single cause, but that a complex interplay of numerous factors leads to death. The results were recently presented in the "Ecosphere" journal.

From local to rare guest

"The decline in western bumblebee is probably not limited to one culprit, but is due to several factors working together," reports lead researcher and zoologist Lusha Tronstad. On the west coast of the United States, bumblebees were the most common bumblebee species. Today you rarely see them. The research team is committed to adding western bumblebee to the list of threatened species in America.

The researchers also examined samples of insect populations on the west coast of the USA from 1998 to 2018. It was found that the chance of seeing a western bumblebee has decreased by 93 percent in the past 20 years.

Reasons for the bumblebee dying

According to the researchers, the causes of bumblebee death are not due to one factor, but rather an interaction of several factors that have an unfavorable effect on the bumblebee and probably also on many other insect species. These include, for example, the use of pesticides, climate change and increasing habitat loss. In addition, the western bumblebee is often infested with parasites.

Anyone can help the bumblebee

The research team emphasizes that anyone who owns or rents a house or property can help ensure the bumblebee's survival. There are three things you can do for the bumblebee:

1. Create food sources

Plant flowering plants with different flowering times. It should be ensured that the flowers also produce pollen and nekar. There are numerous garden plants that serve the bumblebees as food, such as crocus, cowslip, lungwort, iris, columbine, delphinium, garden snapdragon, thimble, nasturtium, poppies, bellflower, catnip, lemon balm, peppermint, garden sage, thyme, hollyhock, lavender , Lupine, coneflower, sunflower, lilac, ball thistle and sweet pea.

Woody plants can also feed the bumblebees. Cultivated plants such as currants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, cherries, plums, plums and mirabelle plums, but also decorative hedge plants such as viburnum, cornus, elderberries, wild roses, hawthorn, cones and privet offer nutrients to the bumblebees.

2. Provide water source

In addition to pollen and nectar, bumblebees also need water. A pool of water in which a piece of wood floats is an ideal landing point for bees and bumblebees, where they can quench their thirst.

3. Offer nesting sites

Most bumblebees nest in the ground. Bald spots on the floor or old mammalian holes can be covered with wood shavings to protect the potential nesting sites. Bumblebees also like to accept human-made nesting boxes. Soil where bumblebees nest should not be worked before April. (vb)

Further information can be found in the article: Insect Death: Causes, Consequences and Insect Protection in Your Own Garden.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • University of Wyoming: UW Researchers Look for Answers as to Why Western Bumblebees Are Decliningv (published: 06/29/2020),
  • Tabitha A. Graves William M. Janousek Sarah M. Gaulke, u.a .: Western bumble bee: declines in the continental United States and range-wide information gaps, Ecosphere, 2020,
  • NABU: Environment & Resources Live ecologically Balcony & Garden Make your garden bumble-bee-friendly! (Accessed: June 30, 2020),

Video: This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flowers Hidden Treasure. Deep Look (May 2022).