Researchers have taken an important first step toward bee conservation by creating the first modern map of bee species represented globally, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.
Until now, accurate information about the number of bee species and patterns across the globe has been limited, especially in developing countries where publicly accessible records are slim, the study said.
The team's findings have established an important baseline and best practices for future studies on bees and other understudied invertebrates, the study said.
"We wanted to create the first modern map of bee species richness because we need to know where bees live to conserve them," Michael Orr, the study's first author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Zoology at Chinese Academy of Sciences, told CNN via email.
"This is an important first step for that, and in the future we can begin working more on threats to bees such as habitat destruction and climate change, and to better incorporate pollination services into ecosystem service analyses."