This article is based on a study that was conducted using climate and floral data from over 40 years.
a long-term project of David Inouye, a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park—and eight years of bumblebee monitoring, focused on three common bee species.
The long-term data suggest that the mountain snow may be melting slightly earlier than it used to, meaning the spring season is starting sooner and the flower season is lengthening. On the other hand, the abundance of flowers available in the meadows can fluctuate through the season, and the data also suggest there’s been an increase in the total number of days with low numbers of flowers available.
“Years that have a lot of days with low floral abundance seem to be years that have really low snowfall and early snowmelt,” said study co-author Rebecca Irwin of North Carolina State University. And there could be several reasons for this phenomenon, she added.
All of these factors can lead to temporary troughs or dips in flower resources throughout the springtime—and these fluctuations can have consequences for bee populations.
|The research was conducted in the flower meadows of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains|
Read the rest of Chelsea Harvey's indepth article here at Scientific American
Chelsea is a climate science reporter who you can follow on twitter @