Bad news for Europe’s bumblebees

Twenty four percent of European bumblebee species are threatened with extinction according to a recent study assessing the species group at the European level.

Europe’s largest bumblebee, the Endangered Bombus fragrans, is seriously threatened by the intensification of agriculture. Photo: Göran Holmström

The study examines all of the 68 bumblebee species that occur in Europe. It is part of the Status and Trends of European Pollinators (STEP) project and the European Red List of pollinators, both funded by the European Commission. The results feed into The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

Bumblebees, like other pollinators, play a critical role in securing food production. They allow plants to reproduce and improve the production of crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and many other types of fruit, vegetables and seeds that make up our diet. Of the five most important pollinators of European crops, three are bumblebee species. Together with other pollinators, bumblebees contribute more than 22 billion Euros to European agriculture per year.

read more… – IUCN The International Union for Conservation of Nature