PLANT SCIENCES

Spring forest flowers likely key to bumble bee survival, Illinois study finds

For more than a decade, ecologists have been warning of a downward trend in bumble bee populations across North America, with habitat destruction a primary culprit in those losses. While efforts to preserve wild bees in the Midwest often focus on restoring native flowers to prairies, a new Illinois-based study finds evidence of a steady decline in the availability of springtime flowers in wooded landscapes.