Monday, 23 March 2015

Nearly one in 10 of Europe's wild bee species face extinction, says study

First ever assessment of all Europe’s 1,965 bee species finds them in dramatic decline, with intensive farming, insecticide use and climate change blamed

Arthur Neslen in Brussels

Thursday 19 March 2015 12.41 GMTLast modified on Thursday 19 March 201515.45 GMT

Europe’s wild bee population is in dramatic decline with nearly one in 10 species facing the threat of extinction, according to the first ever assessment of all the continent’s nearly 2,000 bee species.

Another 5.2% of bee species are likely to be threatened in the near future, while more than a quarter of species such as the European bumblebees are at risk of dying out, said the study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Population trends for 79% of the continent’s pollinators – mostly wild honeybees – are still unknown, but over a third of bee populations for which data was collected were shown to be in decline.

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