BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While many humans are quite content with the lack of snow Baltimore has seen so far this winter, the warmer conditions might cause problems for some of the insects we depend on for food.
The false spring has plants like crocuses and forsythias blooming early, which could cause problems if a late-season frost hits.
Insects need those flowers for food and the flowers need bees and other insects for pollination, but the two have to be in sync. Mild winter weather can throw off that process.
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Just how early are the blooms Baltimore is seeing? A map from the National Phenology Network that looks at the prevalence of leaves emerging 20 days early shows the early blooms have reached parts of Maryland.
“If that does happen a couple of years in a row, then it is a concern,” said Dr. David Rivers, an entomologist with Loyola University Maryland.
It will take years to sort out the potential long-term impact, but Rivers said bees are stressed as it is.
“Colony collapse has been in the news for probably a decade now, so if you add an additional stressor it’s not something that until we actually figure out what’s happening with colony collapse, this is not something that’s adding to bringing them back,” he said.