Evolution may be saving some of the bumblebees. Isolated ecosystems are housing bumblebees that seem to be developing a resistance to the natural contagion that has thrown many of their kind into decline. This doesn’t affect the bee populations that are being assaulted by artificial causes. As much as it seems that biology and ecology are major study efforts, there are great gaps. In particular, the bumblebees in Eastern Washington State have been overlooked. They appear to be developing a resistance, or that the pathogen is diminishing in intensity. Both scenarios are tied to natural evolution. The additional good news is that these bees are generalists, they’ll pollinate many types of flowers, and therefore crops. Good news for the bees, the crops, and us. The general population may be in decline, but these bees suggest that recovery may already be happening, naturally.
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