Life

Bumblebees Are Dying Off Because They’re Too Pudgy To Get It On

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Can a bee have a FUPA? You’d think not. After all, they’re bees. Bees are too busy taking out drunk drivers to get fat, right? Well, not so fast. Bees can not only get fat, they can apparently get so fat they can’t reproduce. And it’s killing them.

Amazingly, it’s not because of America’s sugar addiction, but instead something far more insidious. The Atlantic has a detailed look at the spread of Nosema bombi, a fungus that infects male bumblebees, whose only job is to knock up the queen. But the fungus in question swells them up until they’re unable to bend their abdomen enough to mate. If you’re wondering why, said fungus has no interest in infecting female bees, who actually do all the work of pollinating plants, increasing crop yields, and ensuring our natural wildflowers and species don’t die off. So, um, yeah. This is bad.

Scientists are hard at work figuring out both how this happened — with the short answer being we import, export, and ship around bees willy-nilly to do pollination jobs and that probably spreads infections — and how to stop it, which right now is mostly a shrug emoji. If you want to help, lay off the pesticides in your garden and on your lawn; unlike the professionals, us amateurs tend to overdo it, so dialing that back, or not using them at all, will be good for the bees.

(Via The Atlantic)

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