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Sharp temperature swings are dangerous for animals, experts say

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Feb3,2024

Strong temperature variations ;rature are dangerous for animals, experts say

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Bees play a key role in the agriculture sector agriculture of the province, particularly for the cultivation of blueberries.


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Recent temperature variations in British Columbia raise concerns for the health of certain animals, notably bees, and even their survival .

For example, the community of Abbotsford, in the Fraser Valley, experienced a difference of almost 34°C in just over two weeks. Temperatures rose from -15.4°C on January 12 to over 18°C ​​on January 30.

Alison McAfee, researcher in beekeeping at the University of British Columbia, is concerned about these changes on bees. She explains that extreme temperature variations are particularly dangerous for bumblebee populations.

Indeed, “false springs” could become more frequent and bring queens out of hibernation prematurely. The queens could then be surprised by a drop in temperature just as they are building a new nest.

Mike Wallace, executive director of the British Columbia Cranberry Growers Association, says a decline in bee populations would hurt pollination of berry crops.

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No less than 20% of the world's cranberry production comes from British Columbia.

He believes, however, that it is too early to say if the temperature change caused damage: Bees are necessary for proper pollination of cranberries, as they are for all berry crops.

Alison McAfee adds that the concern extends similarly to honeybees, although beekeepers can help them manage temperature-related risks.

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However, she specifies that certain species of bumblebees in North America are already under pressure and risk disappearing.

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Like bees, bumblebees contribute to pollination.

Bombus occidentalis[the western bumblebee] is a species native to British Columbia that was so common that it was used for commercial pollination and has been decimated to the point where I ;see more, says Alison McAfee.

The change has been drastic, says Kevin Boon, executive director of the British Columbia Livestock Association. He believes the rapid change in temperatures is difficult for livestock.

They are much happier going from cold to warm than from hot to cold. But it is very difficult for their bodies to adapt.

A quote from Kevin Boon, executive director of the British Columbia Cattle Breeders' Association

He says ranchers need to adapt to these changes, by adapting the diet and their enclosures.

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British Columbia farmers faced a shortage of fodder to feed their livestock during the summer 2023.

Kevin Boon adds that breeders are also very attentive to the premature melting of snowpacks due to warm weather. This risks worsening drought conditions and preventing farmers from producing enough feed for livestock.

So we have to hope that we will have a little more humidity to fill [the reservoirs], he specifies. But it's not yet the time to panic, far from it.

According to information from La Presse Canadian

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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