The Plight of the Bumblebee: Using a Collaborative Approach to Conserve Native Pollinators

Status: Ongoing
Start Date: December 1, 2015
Theme: Resource Management

The Plight of the Bumblebee: Using a Collaborative Approach to Conserve Native Pollinators
PI: Sheila Colla

Liber Ero Foundation

Bee declines have recently emerged as a serious threat in Canada and globally. While the introduced European Honeybee has garnered much public attention, increasing evidence suggests some of Canada's native bee species are also experiencing declines in abundance and distribution. Causes of native bee declines are largely speculative and untested but likely involve introduced pathogens, pesticide use, habitat loss, climate change and/or competition with invading species. The project builds on current collaborative efforts to initiate captive breeding, reintroduction and/or translocation programs for declining bumblebee species; work with landowners to create long-term habitat designed to support species at-risk; assess suitability and success of habitat restoration/creation; and investigate the effects of global change and gather natural history information using high quality, long term data on bumblebee abundance and distribution; and test the hypothesis that declining bumblebee species are more susceptible to pathogens and explore possible synergistic effects with other threats.