Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees


The Earth is facing another extinction crisis, an otherwise natural phenomenon that has already taken place before but this time is characterized by the dominant role of the human impact. Bees are undergoing what scientists call a “colony collapse disorder.” Since the 1990s, the bees’ population has been on a steady decline posing a threat to existing natural ecosystems and human agriculture. This paper provides a summary of a 2019 article on extinction vulnerability, explains how the study’s rationale and findings relate to the broader context of human ecology, and outline the next steps for this type of environmental research.

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Article Summary

The objective of the research was to develop a statistical model that would help predict extinction vulnerability in bees in Germany. Hofman et al. claim that in Central Europe, bees enjoy a milder climate due to global warming. Nevertheless, extensive use of pesticides and a reduction in plant diversity accelerates extinction. Hofman et al. accessed the German Red List and chose 428 endangered bee species.

The authors put forward a hypothesis that survivability depended on a variety of traits such as the time of emergence, flight activity, and body size as well as the characteristics of habitat (Hofman et al. 4). Hofman et al. applied Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling and developed multivariate generalized linear models. The findings revealed that late emergence, short flight periods, narrow habitats, and large body size put bees at risk of dying out. While Hofman et al. only applied the model to bees, they might as well laid a foundation for future research on extinction vulnerability.

Relation to Human Ecology and Sustainability

The article has a direct relation to the goals of human ecology and sustainability. Its rationale is aligned with the objective of examining the causes of pathological interactions between humankind and the environment. As of now, bee extinction mostly raises concerns about farming and agriculture since the inability to exploit honey bees might jeopardize the entire industry. Understanding bees extinction not in terms of gains and losses but as a natural catastrophe is instrumental in tackling the issue on a larger scale. In accordance with human ecology, there needs to be more research on various linkages between people and the ecosystems that sustain them.

Future Research

In relation to bee colony collapse disorder, the next step would be to investigate the issue in a variety of contexts. For instance, Hofman et al. note that bees are best adapted to the Mediterranean climate with short winters, warm springs, and dry summers, which accounts for the species diversity in the said region. Bringing bees to Central Europe and North America has been traumatic as it exposed bees to a harsher climate and diseases. Hence, it is only logical to research each country to develop region-specific solutions.

On a larger scale, scientists could verify whether the proposed statistical models apply to other endangered species. They could determine which extinction vulnerability factors are human-driven. For example, humans cannot change the bees’ body size and flight activity. Nonetheless, it is possible to alter and ameliorate their habitats by passing policies on pesticide use, which could have helped alleviate the gravity of the issue was they introduced earlier. Common citizens can help by planting prairies and supporting ethical beekeepers.


Honeybees’ ability to pollinate flowers is unmatched and has yet to be mimicked by another insect or a mechanism. Their quiet but unambiguous disappearance is raising concerns and compels researchers to various factors behind the phenomenon. Hofman et al. examined extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting bees’ survivability in Central Europe. The article’s purpose is in line with human ecology objectives, and namely, studying the one-sided relationship between humans and nature. Future environmental research needs to entail further investigation of the colony collapse disorder in different regions and develop a more comprehensive statistical framework applicable to other species.

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Work Cited

Hofmann, Michaela M., et al. “Narrow Habitat Breadth and Late-Summer Emergence Increases Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees.Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. B286, no. 1898, 2019, pp. 1-8. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 10). Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/extinction-vulnerability-in-central-european-bees/

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"Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees." StudyCorgi, 10 June 2021, studycorgi.com/extinction-vulnerability-in-central-european-bees/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees." June 10, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/extinction-vulnerability-in-central-european-bees/.


StudyCorgi. "Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees." June 10, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/extinction-vulnerability-in-central-european-bees/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees." June 10, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/extinction-vulnerability-in-central-european-bees/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Extinction Vulnerability in Central European Bees'. 10 June.

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