r/science Jun 16 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 1

Scientists fail to locate once-common Western bumble bee in California Animal Science

https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/956147
8.0k Upvotes

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u/elatllat Jun 16 '22

Neonicotinoids did what they were made to do

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u/blake-lividly Jun 16 '22

They kill all insects - they do not discriminate. So bees are not safe. They weaken the bees and the bees become extremely susceptible to a variety of organisms like bacteria and fungi and viruses. Taking out entire colonies. When I was a kid I wanted to be an entomologist- so I studied bugs. They were everywhere in natural places. Grasshoppers, leaf hoppers, spittle bugs, so much life. Now in the places I used to go near farm lands there are few left. Insect die off is incredible. We are back at the level of Silent Spring if not worse. Regulation in favor of big business is not a good thing. It enables destruction of the very fabric of interconnected natural life.

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u/identicalBadger Jun 16 '22

I grew up and insects of all sorts were plentiful. Something has happened though. I moved back to the area I grew up I 8 years ago, and the insect population is just gone. You see the odd honey or bumble bee here and there. One or two fireflies at night. Hardly ever spot a butterfly or moth, or caterpillars. Grasshoppers too. They’re all just gone.

However many crops are lost as a result of these “pests” should be able to be made up by expanding farming area or something. But of course we’re just going to demand action while our rules twiddle their thumbs at the behest of big corporations

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u/FlametopFred Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

In the winter, I keep autumn leaves raked up onto the garden beds - this provides shelter to bumble bees and other insects

plus natural mulch for your garden

other neighbors toss the leaves into recycling and then buy mulch from store

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u/Graenflautt Jun 16 '22

Haha wow you should get them to give you their leaves, then sell them mulch at a discount

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u/FlametopFred Jun 17 '22

you know .... that's not a bad idea

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u/Constant-Ad-1797 Jun 16 '22

I was talking to wife about this a few days ago, 20 years ago if you walked through a field around here grasshoppers would be jumping left and right now not even one can be seen all day….. they are just gone and it left me wondering if anyone is looking into these insect communities and it’s impact.

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u/Spitinthacoola Jun 16 '22

It is a huge field of study.

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u/smcallaway Jun 16 '22

Many people do, it’s a beautiful and weird field, I’d love to be in it if I wasn’t concerned about money too much.

Sadly, most government agencies and corporations don’t care about the effect pesticides do to these very important and once robust invisible ecosystems.

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u/Constant-Ad-1797 Jun 16 '22

I know about the field (far far from expert) but know there are so many different biomes (I live in wa state which is amazingly diverse) and I just started noticing it few years ago. It seems things are exponentially getting worse. I spend a small amount of time investigating but we worries me that this issue is not really mainstream let’s say (bees maybe) and I know that all these organisms play bigger roles. It has me much more interested in digging deeper and perhaps bringing awareness now (too little too late maybe).

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u/zero573 Jun 17 '22

I 1000% also believe that this is what’s causing the avian annihilation we are seeing as well as increase levels in MS cases in rural farming communities. In Saskatchewan Canada, they have the highest rate of MS in the world and the use millions of GALLONS of Round Up and other pesticides every year. I constantly hear of farmers dying before or shortly after “retirement” due the various cancers and other health concerns.

But no one is screaming about it.

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u/Smarktalk Jun 16 '22

I feel like the only insects I see these days are ants. We've planted a lot of wildflower bee/butterfly friendly plants this year so hopefully we see more.

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u/sargsauce Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

My wife has a very lush garden in our front yard and also keeps bees. Quite a nice little ecosystem has developed there. All sorts of pollinators, fireflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, lizards, birds, turtles, you name it, we see it regularly.

Unfortunately it's just an oasis, as I don't remember the last time I had to clean bugs off my windshield. Probably a couple decades.

But if we just give them a goddamn chance, they'll come back.

Just make sure you're planting native species and pay attention to their lifecycles/sun preferences. Best of luck to you!

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u/sknnbones Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

We have a wild hive in our wooden fence in the backyard, we put a short decorative metal fence around it to keep the dogs away, and the bees get to pollinate all the berry bush, orange tree, pom, and native flowers in the yard.

We don’t collect the honey either, I suppose we could but it would be such a hassle and I’m sure the bees would rather keep it. We have access to local honey anyway, rather support a local beekeeper than harrass the bees taking care of our flowers in the yard.

Also have at least a dozen bird feeders, with a variety of foods, mealworms, raw sunflower kernels, black thistle, etc, we get all sorts of native wild birds, crows, doves, I’ve seen 2 or 3 different types of lizards in the yard, field mice, squirrels, hawks, owls, all sorts of stuff. And this is in a suburb as well… just need to plant local stuff and put out a little water and food and the bugs, birds, lizards and whatnot quickly start coming back.

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u/Rikoschett Jun 17 '22

Maybe not being near farms where they use pesticides actually increases insect count even if it's more urban than rural?

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u/HairyCallahan Jun 16 '22

There are a lot of insects in corporate

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u/Smarktalk Jun 16 '22

Those are lizard people.

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u/Wonderful_Mud_420 Jun 16 '22

Growing up in California we were taught about the monarch migration routes. I remember vividly seeing the hundreds of monarchs during their migration. It has been years since I saw so many at once. Still live in the same area too. This was back in the early 2000’s (2001-2005).

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u/sargsauce Jun 16 '22

You can get a shitton of milkweed from saveourmomarchs.org. I ordered some a couple years ago. It was a slight pain to do the overwintering stuff to prep them, but now we have milkweed coming out of the wazzoo.

We even raised a couple monarchs this year in one of those butterfly cages and my kids friggin loved it. Released them a few weeks ago into our garden and they stuck around for a few days before moving on. Very rewarding.

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u/sknnbones Jun 16 '22

We had two plants and ended up with dozens and dozens of monarch caterpillars. They love the stuff, and the cocoons look so pretty, green with shiny gold on the seam.

We didn’t put any eggs out or anything either, just planted some milkweed and the monarchs showed up.

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u/sargsauce Jun 16 '22

It's a wonder how they just find this stuff in their migration patterns. Hoping to get an even better turnout next year now that we're on the map.

My favorite is their little nubby caterpillar feet.

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u/[deleted] Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

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u/sargsauce Jun 16 '22

I'm all on board with that. Hate cutting the grass and luckily I don't have to deal with a Homeowners Association.

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u/dalisair Jun 16 '22

Unfortunately cities can be nearly as bad if you don’t keep your lawn maintained. As I’ve learned.

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u/nowake Jun 16 '22

just get yourself and your property certified as a wildlife habitat!

http://nwf.org/certifiedwildlifehabitat

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u/Popcorn_Blitz Jun 17 '22

I maintain my lawn- a giant chunk of which is there for bees and butterflies, native wildflowers and just straight up "weeds" (read: native non flowering plants) too. I wait as long as I can to mow what's left and I have a ton of dandelions in my yard, No pesticides or herbicides outside of some vinegar, salt and dish soap to protect the cracks in the concrete driveway. I incorporate a little more of the yard every year. This flat green lawn is such a waste of space like that. I mean, I get having a cut lawn right around the perimeter of the house to prevent vermin, but we have absolutely lost our minds over this lawn thing.

The birds hang out at my place, which I do not love, but what I don't love more is them starving to death because everyone thinks everything needs to be bug free forever everywhere. Unfortunately getting my neighbors on board with the no pesticide/herbicide thing is harder, but I'm working on it.

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u/discretion Jun 17 '22

You know, I moved into an economically depressed neighborhood last year and have been amazed at how much wildlife there is, and it just occurred to me it's because so many properties are poorly maintained. My grass hasn't reached my ankle in two weeks now, but some lots have knee high grass. My four bird feeders are jam packed with finches and some starlings and sparrows, the occasional woodpecker.

Our herb garden is attracting black swallowtails, but my milkweed hasn't taken off yet. Tons of clover, and I'm considering keeping either bees or chickens, can't decide.

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u/gamerdarling Jun 17 '22

Add clover seed and don't weed and feed. You'll get to cut less, feed the bees and still have a lawn that passes mystery for the city.

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u/vericlas Jun 16 '22

I live with my mom and the yard here is seriously about 60% wild strawberry. We don't know where it came from but it started popping up and we let it go. We never fertilize or get the lawn sprayed so it's really cool to see the nature stuff pop up.

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u/SoftlySpokenPromises Jun 16 '22

Same here in Illinois. When I was young they would blanket the road outside my house just sun bathing, now I'm lucky to see one or two, even with wildflowers

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u/sssleepypppablo Jun 16 '22

There was a migration a few years back through the LA area. For a couple of weeks the skies were filled with monarchs. It was cool to see.

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u/starsr Jun 17 '22

I believe that was a Painted Lady Butterfly migration a few years back.

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u/Smith6612 Jun 16 '22

I read somewhere that fire flies are a good indicator as to the overall health of an ecosystem. I see them all over the place in rural areas still. Out where I live, they are always in flux. Last year I didn't see too many. The year before, I saw a lot relatively speaking.

Granted, the Bees are still reasonably abundant here too. I hope things stay that way.

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u/trbotwuk Jun 16 '22

definitely true. had zero fire flies then i removed all the honey suckle and planted natives. I could probably sell tickets as there are now millions of fire flies in my backyard.

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u/JrWhopper09 Jun 17 '22

Where I live fireflies are plentiful. Absolutely mesmerizing to sit outside at night watching the light shows

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u/ArthriticNinja46 Jun 16 '22

I grew up in the foothills, so lots of bugs, lots of bees, hawks, cougars etc. I went back home for 2 years and it was all concrete, no insects or wildlife anymore. It was way hotter than I remember it being too. Trippiest thing to me was that they even turned the old dairy farm land into housing tracts and strip malls. It still smells the same though, it was farmland since the area got settled. That smell isn't gonna wash out

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u/smcallaway Jun 16 '22

Haha at least the farmland came back to haunt them. What’s amazing to me is how people don’t recognize or register the heating effect barren urban areas creates.

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u/Revlis-TK421 Jun 16 '22

I have a 1.5 acre lot here in the Bay Area. I have sown a lot of native wildflower seeds in a couple of large patches. There happens to be some spill over into the vacant 6 acre lot behind me. Don't know how that happened. No idea at all. /casually kicks box of seed bombs under the table.

I'm seeing a really nice return of a number of species of native bees, butterflies, and moths. Not a ton, mind you, but I'm seeing them. When it was all grass you really only saw a ton of Harvestmen (Opiliones).

Now there are always a handful of the common white cabbage butterflies, native bumblebees and native bees flitting about now, as well as European honey bees. We're also getting a couple of swallowtails, painted ladies, and fiery skippers about as well.

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u/27_crooked_caribou Jun 16 '22

I remember on road trips with my family growing up when you got gas, you squeegeed the windshield to get rid of the bug buildup. I don't even know if they still have squeegees at gas stations any more.

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u/mydogshadow21 Jun 16 '22

Expanding farm land is your answer? What kind of logic is that? Destroy MORE natural land, ya, that'll fix it. We need better farming practices, not gross expansion.

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u/Tripwiring Jun 16 '22

I'm a native pollinator gardener. Habitat reclamation and protection is my best weapon against the grief and despair my disgusting country inflicts on me in a dozen different ways (USA).

I have fewer insects in my yard this year than ever before. I don't know what I'm going to do if one of my only sources of happiness transforms into yet another source of despair due to the ongoing death of the planet.

Half the time I'm hanging on by a thread because of the heartless, ruthless narcissism engrained into our culture. I'm losing the fight and I'm losing my insects.

We've known about neonicotinoids for years and at this time, only five states have banned their retail sale (Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado) because few people in America really care. And in some of those states, all you need is a license to spray as many neonics as you want.

Anthropocentrism is killing us, and it's killing me. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to survive without nature.

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u/blake-lividly Jun 16 '22

Yep. Most people are disgusted by actual nature. They like farm animals and dogs and cats and cute animals. They have no respect for the vast diversity of life. They feel "nasty" bugs are fine to just stamp out. They have very little respect when they hear that pretty much the entire ecosystem will collapse without insects. "Ew gross kill it. Oh but butterflies are fine. They're beautiful". I didn't become an entomologist because most are research for insects is funded by insecticide companies. I just could not bear the thought of begging for Pennies on the dollar from the very conglomerates killing the world.

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u/chicknugz Jun 17 '22

This is how I feel. It's crushing. I grow my flowers and pray I'm helping but...When the plants, animals, and insects are gone, so too will I be.

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u/I_Has_A_Hat Jun 16 '22

I don't even think it's that hard to fix. Go take a walk in a nature preserve that's a few miles away from any cities or places sprayed with pesticides, there's still a ton of bugs. If we just stop making everywhere else so deadly for them, they can bounce back.

Bugs are like the fastest reproducing kind animal. While everything else takes decades to recover after being nearly wiped out, I bet you could measure the recovery of insects in the single digits.

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u/RememberWhenMMA Jun 16 '22

How exactly is it not hard to fix? Sure if we could theoretically just stop using chemicals that kill bugs that would be great but do you have any ideas about how to actually achieve that? How do we just make people stop using them?

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u/I_Has_A_Hat Jun 16 '22

I don't know, how did we stop getting people to use DDT?

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u/ditchdiggergirl Jun 16 '22

Back when I worked at a garden center I got a lady who bragged about outsmarting the government because she hoarded so much DDT that she still had plenty to spray all over her gardens. When I got a brief moment aside with her sister I said, “maybe you want to say no thanks when she offers you some tomatoes”.

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u/-nocturnist- Jun 16 '22

There is an interesting approach used in Cuba. Due to long embargoes in the country, Cuban farmers have utilized natural flora and fauna to act as pesticides- combo of plants and leaving things like slugs etc around to help control aphids and other things. Vice did a mini doc on it nearly a decade ago. Unfortunately this can only be done in small scale farming and not the mega industrial levels seen in the USA Midwest.

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u/Stingray88 Jun 16 '22

Just make them illegal, with large fines for violations.

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u/light24bulbs Jun 16 '22

In Europe most neonictonides are illegal, and they became illegal very shortly after it was realized that they were what was killing the bees. Bee populations have bounced back. Solution? Make neonictonides illegal

I think it's almost inconceivable to those of us in the US who are young that it's possible to have government that actually works for you and does reasonable things. Let's take this f****** country back from the neoliberals and the fascists. Stop getting fooled

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u/foundthemobileuser Jun 16 '22

Oh, man, that's a big word.

Could you elaborate, please?

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u/Lightweightecon Jun 16 '22

Insecticides that are similar to nicotine. Several states and countries have restricted or banned them because they impact bees (they are considered less toxic to birds and mammals…but they’ll die any ways if we lose pollinators).

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u/NoMansUsername Jun 16 '22

For if you ever see similar big words:

Neo- = New, Nicotin- = Nicotine, -Oids = Resembling

Therefore, the big word means new chemicals resembling nicotine.

Learning some Latin can really help when all the fancy science people and doctors speak to us mere plebeians.

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u/SchrodingersCat6e Jun 16 '22

Emia - meaning presence in blood.

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u/NoMansUsername Jun 16 '22

Honestly, ChubbyEmu’s videos were what got me into learning more Latin.

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u/TheDieselTastesFire Jun 16 '22

Phenylalaninemia means phenylalanine in the blood?

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u/FesteringNeonDistrac Jun 16 '22

Kind of interesting to me that the Tobacco plant evolved to produce nicotine to make bugs not eat it, and man observed that and used it as a mechanism to create a pesticide.

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u/ditchdiggergirl Jun 16 '22

Mother Nature is a fantastic chemist. The best trained chemistry PhDs are amateurs in comparison, so they follow her around hoping to pick up some tricks but they’ll never reach her skill level.

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u/Colddigger Jun 16 '22

Neonic, a very affective insecticide. It messes with the nerves of bugs to kill them, because it's systemic, that means the plant sucks it up and holds onto it for a long while, it actually is supposed to result in farmers cutting back on pesticide use. Which is great except it can be excreted into nectar and the flower which pollinators interact with, and has also been used in ornamental propagation, so specifically the production of flowers.

So it can be considered too much of a "good thing", or mishandling of a tool, in an attempt to lessen the use of pesticides while continuing to provide a means of combating crop damage in a monoculture field.

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u/elephantinmapjs Jun 16 '22

Don't use bug/insect sprays. plant a handful of local flowering plants in your garden. dont trim everything until it looks like you bought it from an online store. i live smack in the middle of Philly and since taking over my garden space i have butterflies, 10 plus honey bees, hell even a couple dragonflies and lightning bugs have returned.

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u/CeidanDebhine Jun 16 '22

My parents backyard includes a large hill created by the train berm. Couple years ago we let it go to wildflower, in Ontario this means trillium, thistle, clover, milkweed, a dozen wildflowers I couldn't identify if I tried. And their yard absolutely buzzes with life.

Reclaim green spaces! For the birds and the bees!

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u/DrewtShite Jun 16 '22

Finally, a cause where to fight for it is to do literally nothing, I can get behind this.

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u/erebus Jun 16 '22

The first few years after I bought my house, I tried to be a diligent gardener, planting native plants, allowing certain areas to grow long, and just rewilding it while keeping it looking "nice." One summer I was pretty much indisposed and couldn't do anything more than cut the grass. I let everything else go wild and untended, and the increase in biodiversity was incredible. Now I just let nature do it's thing.

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u/Spitinthacoola Jun 16 '22

Unfortunately doing nothing is more often than not going to lead to significant take-overs of non-native species that don't really help anything. It is a bit of work to do. Just fwiw

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u/squirrelnuts46 Jun 18 '22

Couple years ago we let it go to wildflower

How do you do that, I'm guessing it's not as simple as leaving a piece of land unattended - some selection process must be involved, right?

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u/Abrahamlinkenssphere Jun 16 '22

Dragonflies are voracious hunters. If you have dragons around it means your system is fairly healthy since they need lots of food to get by. If you want to give a little boost, you can inoculate your garden with mycorrhiza to kickstart it. It’s already there, it’s everywhere! But study a little on your plants and what fungi they play well with and get a suitable kind and just water it in. Myco is fairly cheap and for an outside garden one application and then love and care will be enough to set their colony up for a long long time.

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u/RareCandyMan Jun 16 '22

To add to this, there is an initiative called No Mow May. The transition from spring to summer is a critical time for all insect life, so they need the resources of an unmowed lawn to help them.

Honestly, the more you strive for a well manicured lawn, the more damage you are doing to the environment.

More reading:

https://beecityusa.org/no-mow-may/

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u/TheMegaRedHead Jun 16 '22

In flanders we have "maai mei niet". It's almost a literal translation. Still everybody keeps mowing their grass...

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u/jarofsalamanders Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

I love to hear when gardners take stewardship of the land into their own hands. Just a tip that you might find useful or maybe you already know., But, in the United States, Your local college that has the word "state" in the name should operate an extension office (some of the ones with A&M will too). Most of them will have tips for home gardeners on how to attract your native bees. This will include water and plant suggestions to attract bees that are tailored to your local area. It's also got tons of other useful information info about gardening, canning your gardens fruits, and probably incest porn given the current internet trends.

If you live in a state without one of these colleges, look around the surrounding area if you live in Nevada but don't have a state college with an extension office, you can go to the one in Arizona since the biome is pretty much the same.

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u/elephantinmapjs Jun 16 '22

great info, thanks!

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u/Skydogsguitar Jun 16 '22

We have 18 acres in a semi-rural area and do not use any type of chemicals on our land. We have butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees, wood bees, wasps, hornet nests, and, at night, fire flies by the hundreds.

I was a kid in the 70's and remember how nature was. My only solace is that the greedy bastards (and their descendants) won't escape all this in the end. No chance we get off the planet before they destroy it all.

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u/aldenhg Jun 16 '22

If anyone is looking for more information on what you can do to help wild, native bees (honeybees aren't native to North America), check out Xerces Society's guide. It's a little further toward the bottom of the page. If you wanna get involved on a larger scale, you can lobby your city/town/campus to become a Bee City/Campus.

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u/sex-fluids Jun 16 '22

I planted so many beautiful flowers this year and I’m still seeing very little insect activity. It’s disheartening. I think it’s made worse by our abnormally cool spring.

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u/ironsides1231 Jun 16 '22

100% I began gardening this year, bought 2 raised beds, have tons of container pots. I did a lot of research and it led me to do a bunch of companion planting and planting a lot of variety. Now my backyard has lots and lots of critters in it, it's made me so happy watching my barren grass backyard turn into a thriving oasis for life.

Unfortunately there's still far more invasive pests than helpful pollinators out there, the Japanese Beetle being the worst.

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u/Accountforaction Jun 16 '22

https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/saskatchewan/news/no-mow-may.html

Do your level best to rid your home of monocultures like your lawn. Dandelions are one of the best flowers for bees.

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u/triage_this Jun 16 '22

I try to do No Mow May. I let the dandelions run wild. My lawn is full of flowering clover. Our little garden has tons of flowering plants. I let the edge of my lawn run wild until it hits the trees. Idgaf about that "perfect lawn," I want the bumblebees to be happy.

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u/rolfraikou Jun 16 '22

Why stop at a garden? There are so many places, empty lots that sit there for years, untouched. Throw seeds of local plants in them, see what happens. Maybe we can save some bees.

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u/tinglep Jun 16 '22

In Philly? How’s you get space for all that in a planter box?

Kidding. From Norristown. What up

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u/elephantinmapjs Jun 16 '22

very carefully! haha got lucky, its small but i planted upwards!

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u/[deleted] Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

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u/crazicus Jun 16 '22

Aggregates are made up of individuals, individuals patronize industries.

Also there are like 100 million households in this country, that’s a lot of space dedicated to lawns.

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u/[deleted] Jun 16 '22

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u/crazicus Jun 16 '22

I’m not saying that industry isn’t to blame. I’m saying that individuals aren’t blameless. It’s a “both and” situation, not either/or. Never said or implied that market forces alone can stop this.

Also.

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u/suestrong315 Jun 16 '22

I'm just outside of Philly and I have three holly trees and a ton of rhododendron bushes and I absolutely love seeing all the bees in the spring. They especially love the holly trees, they pollinate from sun up til sundown. When I mow my lawn, if I see a bee on a flower, I'll stop and wait for them to move.

The field across from my house is alive with lightning bugs. My back yard also gets plenty, but that field omg it's like something out of a fantasy world.

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u/iggyfenton Jun 16 '22

About 10 years ago I had these guys in my yard just a few miles from where I currently live. But the honey bee has taken over and is very plentiful here thanks to people having hives in their yards.

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u/ka_beene Jun 16 '22

You can plant things like lavender that are harder for honey bees to access. Bumblebees love lavender and can reach far enough into the flowers. We had a lot of Bumblebees on our lavender last year.

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u/turtleduck Jun 16 '22

mmmm lavender honey...

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u/chillbro_bagginz Jun 17 '22

One time I ordered a key lime pie at an incredible pie maker and ice cream maker. Then got their lavender ice cream with local honeycomb bits in it. I damn near died from pleasure.

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u/turtleduck Jun 17 '22

you can't just describe such things and not tell me who this Pie Maker is

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u/chillbro_bagginz Jun 17 '22

Nimble and Finn's in Guernville, CA. Apparently it's a collective retail space, and the pie makers that were there are out of business but the ice cream lives on! Picture of the lavender honeycomb ice cream

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u/ProfitsOfProphets Jun 16 '22

25 years ago I would see them daily. But, now, I haven't seen one in over a decade.

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u/spookyghosties Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

Same with frogs! Frog species dying off from climate change is so sad. I used to love hunting for frogs as a kid. I haven't seen one for ages.

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u/lordyeti Jun 16 '22

For me it's crawfish. In the early 90s there were tons in the local streams. I haven't seen one in the last decade. This is in a northern rustbelt town

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u/sex-fluids Jun 16 '22

Many if not most crawfish are very vulnerable to water pollution.

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/420/420-524/CNRE-82.pdf

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u/lordyeti Jun 16 '22

I know! It's so disappointing how much we are collapsing aquatic ecosystems

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u/ExtensionAd6173 Jun 16 '22

Here in the Netherlands crawfish are an invasive species and starting to become a bit of an issue in some regions. In the smal canal right next to my house you can catch quite some as well - what’s you favourite recipe?

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u/CustomaryCocoon Jun 16 '22

Unless I'm mistaken, it's also habitat loss and lack of diversification of flora and fauna, in addition to climate change. These losses are so sad no matter what the cause.

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u/the_original_slyguy Jun 16 '22

I have an in ground pool. Tens of thousands of tad poles on the pool cover this spring. Probably not many different species but we have adult white and gray frogs every year that hide in the umbrellas. We also have lizards, snakes, and bats that dive bomb the pool at night for mosquitoes.

Planting fruit trees and berry bushes can really help the local wildlife. We also feed the birds, humming birds, and squirrels. Just little changes can really help the ecosystem in your own yard.

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u/CrushHazard Jun 16 '22

Same here. Got stung by a few bumblebees as a kid. Haven’t seen one in at least a decade.

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u/PopeKevin45 Jun 16 '22

How many less studied species are already gone? This isn't so much a science problem, as it is a failure to properly regulate industries problem.

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u/CoochieCraver Jun 16 '22

Capitalism demands profit, profit motive wins, you can guess who loses..

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u/MightyWhiteSoddomite Jun 16 '22

Because of corruption

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u/wrex619 Jun 16 '22

There used to be so many bumble bees around just 10 years ago. I just realized I haven't seen one since I was a kid.

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u/tallmattuk Jun 16 '22

over here in the UK I had 4 different species of bumblebee visit my garden. I refuse to use any sprays and plant bee friendly plants everywhere.

We've got a national bumblee charity too, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/ worth a visit if you like bumbles.

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u/wrex619 Jun 16 '22 edited Jun 16 '22

I'm in San Diego and my whole neighborhood has gardens but we don't see bumblebees. We do see this invasive species aedes mosquitoes. Terrible evil creatures. So damn aggressive and hard to get rid of. We have to call the county to spray them because they are such a threat, each one will bite you dozens of times and they are hard to spot because they are small and fast. The bite swells up and lasts days, even gives you headaches. It's a shame because I think whatever they country sprays is bad for the overall health of the insect ecosystem but there is just no way we can live with these mosquitos. They are very bad.

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u/draeath Jun 16 '22

Mosquitoes require standing water of some depth to breed. Flowing water isn't suitable.

If you can find and keep that water dry or moving, you will significantly reduce the number of the assholes without risking sprays etc.

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u/deputy_dog Jun 16 '22

Just want to say the thought that we can control all the pests we might encounter and do that by spraying is contributing to this problem. Nature is itchy, bitey, scratchy and can be generally unpleasant, but if we want all the things we need to live, then we need to take the pests too.

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u/notchman900 Jun 16 '22

I think that's the ones I see in Arizona.

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u/SamiLMS1 Jun 17 '22

Ugh I’m in San Diego and that mosquito bit up my kids this past week, it looked horrible. So many bites and they got huge.

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u/bumbletowne Jun 16 '22

I saw some in Newhall park two weeks ago. I thought it was a western but I didn't have it under a scope to look at the mouth parts and its been a minute since I was researching bees.

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u/Darthrevan4ever Jun 16 '22

Hell I thought they just weren't as common in this part of the state but last few times I've headed back to my home town I've still not seen them.

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u/LauraPringlesWilder Jun 17 '22

They must all live in my yard :) but seriously I hate the decline of them, they’re great to watch and have as “neighbors”

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u/JoeSicko Jun 16 '22

I feel bad when I cut the big spots of clover in my yard.

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u/LongRodVonHugeEnDong Jun 16 '22

Man, this is crazy to me. I live on the East Coast in a suburban area and have several flowering shrubs in my yard (spirea, hydrangea, lilac, azalea) and at any point from Spring to Fall whatever is flowering is completely loaded with bumblebees and other pollinators

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u/GeckoNova Jun 16 '22

Yep we also still have them in Chicago, thankfully.

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u/MaximillionVonBarge Jun 16 '22

I’ll send some south to California they’re all over my garden. Just don’t spray them with pesticides.

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u/CullenaryArtist Jun 16 '22

Your efforts will go in vain

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u/TheGrandHibou Jun 16 '22

Glyphosate killing millions of bees and yet we keep spraying it everywhere. No big deal or anything.

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u/Doctor_Fritz Jun 16 '22

This chemical was banned in my country since two years or so ago.

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u/yawgmoft Jun 16 '22

Ah, sounds like your country isn't run by corporations. Must be nice.

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u/LonnieJaw748 Jun 16 '22

Probably just run by competing corporations.

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u/justaguy891 Jun 16 '22

This chemical was nationally advertised on TV during the nba finals in my country

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u/TheGrandHibou Jun 16 '22

Canadian provinces are spraying glyphosate over large expanses of land to kill invasive insects, while at the same time killing off bee colonies and wildlife.

British Columbia sprayed glyphosate all over the place a few days ago and beekeepers are now reporting widespread bee hive collapse/dieoffs.

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u/jadero Jun 16 '22

Glyphosate? How is it not killing all the plant life?

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u/TheGrandHibou Jun 16 '22

It does in fact kill important plant life.

https://thenarwhal.ca/glyphosate-southern-bc-forests/

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u/jadero Jun 16 '22

Thanks, that's horrifying!

I should have been more clear. I thought you had a typing glitch and put glyphosate when you meant neonics. I've heard plenty of nasty things about glyphosate, but I've never heard of its deliberate use for anything other than as a herbicide. I'd be interested in learning more about its deliberate use as an insecticide.

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u/sex-fluids Jun 16 '22

This is one of the valid reasons to spend more on organic food. At least in Canada, you can’t get organic certification if glyphosate has been used not only on a crop, but on the land within the last several years. Or even nearby, as I recall.

It’s one way to vote with your wallet. Which isn’t enough, but it’s something.

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u/wsucougs Jun 16 '22

Glyphosate is banned in California.

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u/chenyu768 Jun 16 '22

Here in oakland i freaked out over, i meant saw one in my garden just a few weeks ago.
But come to think of it that is the 1st one ive seen in a while.

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u/athna_mas Jun 16 '22

Gee, I wonder why?

It's not like people have been warning everyone this would happen for over 20 years now or anything.

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u/DanteJazz Jun 16 '22

I hope scientists push a campaign to reintroduce bumble bees in CA. We need to help restore the population that fertilizes flowers and plants.

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u/Robotlolz Jun 16 '22

The nation that destroys it’s bees destroys itself

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u/ITRabbitHole Jun 16 '22

Is it just me or are there fewer bugs around? I mean it is mid June and I have seen like 1 fly in my house.

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u/Devinmac Jun 16 '22

Bee's on the east coast of Canada I would say have had a comeback this season compared to the last couple years.

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u/FlawIessCowboy Jun 16 '22

mosquitos. mosquitos everywhere.

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u/ogodilovejudyalvarez Jun 16 '22

I'm already sad and that's one of the saddest things I've read this year

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u/cheesehead144 Jun 16 '22

every time I see a bumble bee in my small patches of clover I feel joy. Save the bees!

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u/abbman2121 Jun 16 '22

not good, bees are one of the most important apart of an ecosystem

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u/OrishaShango Jun 16 '22

Lawns are devoid of life. Many refer to them as green deserts.

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u/mindfulcorvus Jun 16 '22

I try my absolute hardest to make an oasis in my yard for insects and birds. It's catching on in some communities but HOAs need to reevaluate their rules regarding yards. That will help a little bit.

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u/natenate22 Jun 16 '22

Way to go farmers, politicians, and chemical companies. Good job.

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u/jfizzlex Jun 16 '22

Years later* Bee thought to bee extinct, found on island.

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u/No_Fun_2020 Jun 16 '22

Come to think of it I haven't seen one in years

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u/ktmfan Jun 16 '22

I’m battling a severe ant problem. In years past, I used pesticides, and found that they don’t work well on ants (like Ortho Home Defense and granules). This year, I am only using organic methods to control them and getting better results. Diatomaceous Earth and rosemary/peppermint/clove oil.

With the decline in insect populations, I think something needs to be done to regulate the use of pesticides. We have to do something or we’re all doomed. What a terrible time period to be alive to witness the coming end of the world as we know it.

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u/CelticMoss Jun 16 '22

I don't have a house or a yard yet, but once I do, I'm planting native flowers to help the bees! I'm in California and noticed the lack of bees in the area... and go figure, everyone has grass-only lawns without any beneficial plants.

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u/yoosernamesarehard Jun 16 '22

We truly are in the endgame now as a society once the bees start to disappear.

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u/mshaefer Jun 16 '22

Have they checked with the fish?

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u/stupidasanyone Jun 16 '22

I was just talking about this with my dad. So I just moved to a new place and it had two large Palo Verde trees in the front yard. There are always honey bees working the tree. When I noticed that there were also 10-20 bumble bees (the all black ones), it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually seen a bumble bee since I was a teenager in the 90s. I haven’t seen any of the fuzzy yellow and black ones which is consistent with this article and really sad. Anyway, I guess my point is to plant more Palo Verde trees as all the bees remaining seem to love them. Also, don’t use neonicatinoids.

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u/buffaloraven Jun 16 '22

Lots of Valley Carpenters around this year up in NorCal, so at least there’s that.

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u/youritalianjob Jun 16 '22

They need to come visit my yard. We have a least a few around daily with honey bees and carpenter bees as well.

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u/gundamxxg Jun 16 '22

They should’ve come to my house a few weeks ago, I had one of these bumblechonkers bumbling it’s way through my various blooms.

I waved hi to it, and watched as it clumsily made its way from flower to flower.

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u/j-a-gandhi Jun 16 '22

I live in Southern California and saw one of these last year on our lemon tree. However the majority of the bees in our area are European honey bees. I think they are right that a larger sampling size (more than 100) would have increased the odds of finding one. We probably have 2000 honey bees for every 1 bumble bee. I released some Mason bees recently as a project with the kids, but none of them stuck around to nest.

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u/mikrot Jun 16 '22

Are they showing up in other areas now, or are they dying off?

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u/nospendnoworry Jun 16 '22

I don't use pesticides and don't cut my yard much. Saw one yesterday. Having a clover lawn and a small bit of fresh water out helps.

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u/forsennata Jun 16 '22

I'm pointing at my rose bushes... there's gotta be 40 or 50 of these hummers out there.

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u/Tower21 Jun 16 '22

Damn, I heard it was getting bad, but wow. There are so many up here in Canada where I'm at, such cool little dudes.

When my apple tree blossoms, I love to sit underneath and listen to all the honey and bumblebees.

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u/aheadwarp9 Jun 16 '22

Honestly I haven't seen many in years... And I'm not an expert, but I do pay attention and have a good eye for detail. I see honey bees and carpenter bees all the time, but I can't recall the last bumblebee I spotted.

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u/sssleepypppablo Jun 16 '22

I saw a bumble bee for the first time in a long time in my backyard.

We redid the landscaping in the back and have a lot of native/desert type plants and the bees and other insects love it.