Bumblebees were once common summer sights, but numbers of these large, yellow-and-black, fuzzy insects are declining throughout North America. Not only is that bad for the bee, note Missouri Department of Conservation officials, but it’s also unfortunate for humans.

People can get information about bumblebees, why they’re declining and what can be done to help reverse this downward population trend during a free virtual program, “Be a Friend to Bumblebees,” offered by MDC from 10 to 10:30 a.m. today, and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. The program is designed for people ages 12 and older. Required registration for this program may be completed online at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/173702.

Habitat changes and pesticide use are among the causes that have led to the bumblebee’s decline, note conservationists, adding that is unfortunate because bumblebees are valuable pollinators. And, although their large size gives some people a greater degree of fright, bumblebees seem to be less aggressive than some stinging insects, though they will sting if they’re handled or bothered.

Participants in today’s program will learn about the life cycle of the bumblebee and what humans can do to help bumblebee populations.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.

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