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Holger Casselmann / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The climate crisis has caused Japanese cherry blossoms to bloom in October and sped the arrival of spring in much of the U.S. But it turns out that humans aren't the only animals who can trick plants into flowering early.

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Beekeeper Younes Kheir shows Julia Klöckner, federal minister of Food and Agriculture, honeycombs on World Bee Day, May 20, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Carsten Koall / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Ajit Niranjan

Coronavirus lockdowns that keep farmers from fields and suppliers from markets are restricting another cornerstone of the agriculture industry: bees.

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A blue bee on a firebush in Palm Beach, Florida on Sept. 10, 2016. Bob Peterson / CC BY 2.0

Scientists have "rediscovered" a rare blue bee that they feared was extinct.

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Portland, Oregon's local Backyard Habitat Certification Program is a collaboration between Portland Audubon and Columbia Land Trust. Gaylen Beatty

By April M. Short

The world's wildlife is in danger of dying off, and inevitably taking humanity out with it. Humans have destroyed enormous portions of the planet's natural spaces, and caused a climate disaster as well as the unprecedented acceleration of mass extinction events. Among the many species struggling to stay afloat are the butterflies, birds, bats, bees and other pollinators we depend upon in order to grow basic food crops. People cannot live without the earth's diverse wild plants and animals.

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Honey bees touch their mouthparts and antennae together to share food and information, but the practice also can transmit viruses. Fred Zwicky / University of Illinois

Honey bees guarding the entrances to their respective hives are twice as likely to allow access to virus-infected trespassers, suggesting that the pathogen is capable of altering the insect's behavior and physiology to boost its spread to neighboring colonies.

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To save insects we must give them the space they need to survive. asadykov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Andrew Urevig

Butterflies and bees, ants and beetles, cockroaches and flies — whether loved or feared, insects help humans. Just sample the ways these animals enable life as we know it: they pollinate crops, give us new medicines, break down waste and support entire ecosystems.

Yet many insects around the world are in decline.

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SolStock / Moment / Getty Images

By Tyler Wells Lynch

For years, Toni Genberg assumed a healthy garden was a healthy habitat. That's how she approached the landscaping around her home in northern Virginia. On trips to the local gardening center, she would privilege aesthetics, buying whatever looked pretty, "which was typically ornamental or invasive plants," she said. Then, in 2014, Genberg attended a talk by Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware. "I learned I was actually starving our wildlife," she said.

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A bumblebee on a Dusky Cranesbill geranium plant on May 14, 2018 in London, England. Victoria Jones - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Rampant pesticide use and habitat loss has already crippled bumblebee populations. New research now shows that warming temperatures around the world will further push bumblebees to the brink of extinction, as The New York Times reported.

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The endangered yellow-faced bumble bee consistently chose the large-leaved lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus), seen above, even when others were available. vil.sandi / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

In an effort to aid North American bumblebee conservation, a group of California researchers has identified which flowers certain bee species prefer.

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Insects play a vital role in ecosystems and humans are particularly dependent on them for food. Dmitry Grigoriev / Unsplash

By Ajit Niranjan

Seven 'no-regret' actions could rescue insects on the road to extinction, a new roadmap for conservation says, helping ecosystems even where a lack of research means scientists cannot prove benefits to individual species.

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Pixabay

By John R. Platt

The New Year got off to a rocky start, with deadly fires throughout Australia and international political tensions rising to a frightening level.

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