Once thought to be among the most common and widespread bumble bee species in North America, the American bumble bee has experienced sharp declines in recent decades. According to an assessment published by the International Union for Conservation in Nature in 2014, American bumble bee losses amount to an 89% reduction in abundance relative to other bee species that share their habitat. These declines are most pronounced towards the northern extent of the species' range. Like most bumble bees, this species faces threats from multiple sources including pesticides, habitat loss or degradation, urban development,, and diseases that can be introduced by non-native bee species.
A relatively large bee, the fuzzy black-and-yellow American bumble bee prefers the habitats offered by farmlands and open fields, where they nest below the grass or underground. The loss of this species on the landscape could have devastating impacts on pollination of the many native plants they are known to use, as well as agricultural crops.
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