At the same time scientists first identified Colony Collapse Disorder–the mysterious syndrome in which honeybees disappeared from previously healthy hives–another, less-heralded bee mystery was also unfolding.
In 2006, a UC Davis entomologist named Robbin Thorp spotted a lone, yellow-topped Franklin’s bumblebee in a meadow in Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains. When he had first begun surveying sites in 1998, this type of bee was relatively plentiful. But it soon became more difficult to find and then impossible: The bee that Mr. Thorp encountered in 2006 was the last Franklin’s bumblebee anyone has seen. Along with three closely related species, the bee had suffered a population nose dive, and no one knew exactly why.
In the Wall St. Journal this weekend, I reviewed two new books that explore the decline of those bees, and many others. There are 20,000 species besides honeybees in the world, many of which are also struggling.
You can read it here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/buzz-and-our-native-bees-review-give-bees-a-chance-1531445361?shareToken=st5c880a7f02394f7eb879de6c975aec10&ref=article_email_share