Decreased pollinator activity

I’m in PA and I don’t know about the rest of the East Coast or United States in general but I have seen very little pollinators. I have so much blooming right now but have yet to see any bumble bees, or even sweat bees (I saw them earlier in the spring but not lately) and no butterflies except for one red spotted purple which hatched recently.


I too am in Pennsylvania. Lots in bloom too, but only a few Eastern Bumblebees, and rarely any smaller bees. No butterflies, and moths seem way down too. Unclear why.
Perhaps a cold, wet spring. I do have a lot more Eastern Tent Caterpillars crawling about. First time in 10 years.


After talking to quite a few people it seems to be the same across a few eastern states.

I’m in Vermont. I am very fortunate to live in an area with lots of fields and forests. I have seen many, many pollinators this Spring (yay!) Especially Bombus species (my faves) but also lots of Mining bees (which I am utterly unable to identify.)

The native shrubs have been literally abuzz. Non-native shrubs and flowers also have a lot of activity. I’ve seen shrubs with dozens of B. impatiens all at once. What a delight!

I think I have seen more bees this year than last year. We had a very rainy Spring last year, so that may have been a factor, as you suggest. We need some experts to weigh in.

I’ve seen plenty of pollinating flies, as well, but I don’t even try to identify those. I haven’t seen many butterflies (yet) but I am less attuned to them.
Hopefully they will be around. Last year was a disappointing year for Monarchs.


I live in upstate NY (near SW Vermont), and my wife and I have been talking about this within the last few days. There were a reasonable number of mining bees a few weeks ago, and a flush of bumble bees, but I haven’t seen a bee (other than Eastern Carpenter Bees and the odd honey bee) for a week or more. The garlic chives are in full bloom, and they are normally bug magnets, but I haven’t seen a single pollinator on them yet. We have honey bee hives on our property and normally they’re everywhere, but even the creeping charlie in our lawns are almost devoid of honey bees or anything else.


I live in Northern Delaware. It’s hit and miss this year in DE and SE PA. In April, some of the trees were covered in pollinators–I stopped to listen to the buzzing a few times (something I love to do). I saw a lot of cellophane bees quite early, and I routinely see Common Eastern bumblebees and a lot of Eastern Carpenter bees. Now, after some very rainy weather, I’ve seen less, but I wondered if that isn’t because, at least here, a lot of the spring-blooming trees are done flowering and pollinators are more dispersed? I haven’t seen many on stands of cultivated or wildflowers though. As for butterflies, I’ve seen azures, swallowtails (mostly Spicebush and Eastern Tiger), a very few hairstreaks, some Commas, and a lot of Red Admirals. I wouldn’t say butterfly numbers are high, but I do see them fairly regularly. I was just in Northern PA for a weekend and didn’t see much of anything, but it was very rainy that weekend. My initial assessment is that numbers are down somewhat, but I’m not completely certain.

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I live in Lincoln CA, on the cusp where the Sacramento Valley starts rising toward the Sierra foothills. We have several preserves here which I walk frequently - not on the trails but wading through the wild flowers and grass and slogging through the creeks and beaver made bogs and marshes. In the spring the fields have amazing displays of a very wide variety of wildflowers. This spring I have seen almost no non- Western Honey Bee (WHB) pollinators - very few bumble bees or sweat bees or hover flies. I have just recently being better on making comments in my journal and have recently made several entries about this. Also, the WHBs are so thick on the (invasive) blackberry brambles and the California Buckeye that I do not believe it is productive for other bees to even attempt to nectar on them. I don’t know if it is just that I have become sensitized to the lack of pollinators and that this is normal (although last year there seemed to be more) or if this is the new reality. We have had two wet winters and I understand insect numbers are usually down after wet winters.