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While most everyone has heard at least something in the news about declining bees, most press coverage has been directed toward the plight of the non-native European honeybee. Very little attention is directed towards native bees, like bumblebees. Over the past few decades a substantial body of research has identified declines in bumblebee populations in Europe and North America.

Bumblebees have gone virtually unstudied in most states in this country despite their critical roles in agriculture and natural ecosystems. There is a real need to evaluate bumblebees in the United States to assess how their populations are faring and if conservation actions are needed.

We can begin to do this in Texas by simply recording where species are today and if they still occur in the same places they did years ago. Helping with this process can be as simple as casually snapping images of bumblebees on flowers, recording the date and location, and posting them to the Texas Bumblebees Facebook page or as complex as conducting your own bumblebee survey.

If you are interested in participating at any level, feel free to e-mail (michael.warriner@tpwd.state.tx.us) if you have any questions.

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