Bee species are more diverse in dry regions where pollen is abundant. From the collapse of honeybee colonies to the arrival of bee-eating “murder hornets” in the United States, bees have received swarms of attention recently, yet scientists know surprisingly little about where these animals live. Now a pioneering study, published today in Current Biology , reveals that bees avoid moist, tropical ecosystems and instead favor dry, treeless landscapes. The research shows the greatest diversity of species lives in two bands around the globe—mostly in temperate zones—an unusual distribution pattern. Experts say this first-ever map of bee species around the world is a leap forward in understanding and protecting the pollinators that our food supply and ecosystems rely on. “Nobody has, to my knowledge tried to produce a map of bee diversity previously,” says Paul Williams , an entomologist at the Natural History Museum in London who was not involved in the work. “I think it’s a fantastic move in the right direction.” “Humans are pretty good at just going for what’s easy, which is why we’ve got really great data on mammals, but then we overlook all the invertebrates, despite the fact they contribute some really important services […]

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