Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the United States, according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots.

The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee numbers decreasing while farmland for crops dependent on such pollinators is increasing.

The counties included agricultural regions of California such as the Central Valley, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas and the southern Mississippi River valley.

The counties grew crops such as almonds, pumpkins, squashes, blueberries, watermelons, peaches and apples that are highly dependent on pollinators, or had large amounts of less-pollinator-dependent crops including soybeans, canola and cotton.

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