Should bumblebees be extinct

Tech & Nature

In addition to bees, bumblebees also play a very important role in the pollination of plants. You are not out and about in cooler temperatures, when honey bees hardly fly out. However, they too suffer from a lower food supply and less natural habitat. This also has an impact on the diversity of bumblebee species - some particularly rare or even declared extinct were recently spotted again in Austria.

The Naturschutzbund describes the sighting of the "Unexpected Bumblebee" (Bombus inexspectatus) as a small sensation. In specialist circles, it would have been considered extinct, last year the hobby researcher Martin Streinzer found a male and a female of the rare species in southern Carinthia.

Hummel variety at the Wallersee

The background to the unexpected sighting was a “Citizen Science” project in which a total of 41 bumblebee species were reported at www.naturbeobachtung.at. These include the Samthummel, the last find of which was found in 1967, and the Grubenhummel, which was the first to be reliably identified in Austria. The Wallersee was shown in the project to be the most species-rich bumblebee area - almost half of all species could be detected there.

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Cold-resistant wild bees

The project also showed how well bumblebees can handle colder temperatures. Most of the observations were made between April and September, but overall sightings were from early February to mid-December.

In principle, all plant and animal sightings can be entered on the nature observation platform, but the bumblebee campaign had a special background. It is part of the bee protection fund that the Naturschutzbund set up together with the food discounter Hofer. There is extensive material on the platform for the identification of species, and a team of experts from researchers steps in if the identification is unclear.

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