To Bee, or Not to Bee…

31 January 2008 | News story

The plight of pollinators is causing worldwide concern. Not only are population numbers of many formerly abundant species dwindling, some species are disappearing altogether.

While many types of pollinators have suffered, we will here focus on how certain species of bumblebees have gone either extinct or close thereto due to habitat and resource destruction, pesticide use and pathogens.

Pollinators are a necessity for ecosystems around the globe. Including innumerable species of insects and birds, bats and other small mammals, and even some reptiles, pollinators play a vital role in plant reproduction by performing the essential job of transferring pollen from anther to stigma. Pollinators assist in the propagation and diversification of plants. They improve seed set in produce and are crucial for the creation of the seed banks that feed bird and beasts alike. They are also essential for an estimated two-thirds of the crops that we grow. Without them, the world as we know it would not exist. Despite these facts, we have allowed their populations to decline to alarmingly low levels.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.