“Bumblebees are like a canary in a coal mine in detecting changes in our climate”, Staab said. “By seeing how they’re reacting out there, it can help us predict future movements and shifts.” She noted that this year has the lowest number of bumblebees seen in years. “We’re not seeing many bumblebees, so we definitely have our work cut out for us.”
A wide variety of pollinators are needed to ensure plant diversity and bumblebees are considered one of the keystone pollinators that keep the balance of nature in check. If you take out or reduce the population of one, then plant diversity will suffer next, leading to more problems in the balance of our ecology.
Staab’s research has not been only focused on the bumblebee’s need for floral resources, but also on their nesting behaviors and their need for overwintering sites. “In order to conserve these species, we need to know all parts of the puzzle,” Staab stated. “The more we can find out about the full picture of their nesting preferences, their nesting ecology – we really know nothing – the better we can see the whole picture so we can find a solution.”