Concerns were up when the bumblebees were placed on the endangered species list, as the extinction of the insects was looming large.
However, Jeff Whitworth, an entomologist at Kansas State University, said that there is nothing to worry about.
Whitworth is clear that bumblebees are not in danger of extinction.
There was an outcry when the populations of bumblebees were falling in many states.
The expert said there are advantages in keeping the species under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Register as the population numbers will stabilize to healthy levels and come at par with other insects.
"Being on the endangered species list is not bad," Whitworth observed.
Noting the high value of bumblebees in pollinating flowers, vegetables, and citrus crops as food sources for other creatures, Whitworth added that said bees never bother people unless they are troubled — referring to the scary bee stings.
Contribution In Food Production
Thanks to the stubby wings possessed by the big sized insects that play as pollinators. Without them, no food would grow.
In pollination, bumblebees are the best. Beating wings 130 times per second, they have large bodies that vibrate flowers to release pollen leading to buzz pollination and help plants produce more fruit.
They are, however, not high producers of honey compared to honeybees. The majority of the crops depend on animals to transfer pollen between male and female flower parts, notes Rachel Winfree, an ecologist and professor at Rutgers University's entomology department.
Though there are other pollinators like birds, bats, and butterflies, "there's no question that bees are the most important in most ecosystems," she noted in an article.
Factors Of Population Decline
Many factors are attributed to the decline of bees population, including the attack of parasites, use of pesticides, and rapid urbanization. Some of the ancillary reasons include fungal and viral diseases as well.
Non-native plant species and calamities such as floods and drought also affect their existence.
According to Whitworth, stabilization of bee populations require concerted efforts such as native plants farming and expansion of beekeeping as a hobby. That would go a long way in creating one's backyard as an ecosystem for the bees to thrive.
Whitworth also called for a halt of frequent mowing and trimming of trees. While the former disturbs soil and rattles bumblebees nesting underground in mouse and gopher holes, reducing tree trimming will help bees in getting more natural habitat to create colonies in trees.
Effect Of Weather
Cycles of increase and decrease on bee populations are not uncommon, he said. To a greater extent, agriculture prices and annual temperatures also play a role in the fluctuations of numbers.
Whitworth said bee populations do change according to the size of the farming area. In the farming of valuable crops, farmers use more land but when crops dip in value, they leave the land to a natural state.
Colder temperatures for long years also drive away bee populations. But the numbers go up when hotter periods return.
"Weather and prices vary from year to year, which is simply part of the way systems work," Whitworth said.
He is optimistic that bumblebee populations will stay fairly steady for the foreseeable future.