A Swiss beekeeper has warned that some wild bee species could go extinct due to the long-term effects of global warming.
All other species of bees apart from the honey bee are commonly referred to as wild bees.
They do not produce beeswax or honey but do collect pollen to feed their young.
Armin Fuellemann heads the Thurgauischer Bienenfreunde Union.
He told the Tagblatt newspaper: “The heat of the past summer did actually provide almost ideal conditions not just for honey bees but also for wild bees.
“However, wild bees are depending on many different plants. If global warming leads to changes in their blooming period in the long term, wild bees could starve to death.
“This might mean that some species could become extinct.”
Fuellemann underlined: “Wild bees play a highly important role in our ecosystem.”
Mason bees, leafcutter bees and carpenter bees are among the best-known types of wild bees.
They prefer deadwood, fieldstones and unmowed grasslands as nesting spots.
These dry soils are also essential to several rare flowers and plants – which provide the wild bees with pollen.
Fuellemann said he was concerned about the constant decrease in such areas.
There are an estimated 600 different wild-bee species across Switzerland.
More than 17,000 residents of the Alpine country engage in beekeeping.
They look after around 165,000 honey-bee colonies, according to Swiss research group Agroscope.
One colony consists of up to 50,000 bees.