Bumblebee populations are at an increased risk of extinction, according to a new study by a environmental science professor at University of Guelph. Nigel Raine says bumblebee queens that are exposed to pesticide are 26 per cent less likely to lay eggs to start a colony.“It was a bigger impact than I was expecting. And our modeling suggests it could have a major impact on population persistence and increases the chances a population could go extinct,” said Raine in an interview with The Canadian Press.The professor’s findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. The release comes at a time when bumblebee populations are on the decline worldwide, and scientists are trying to understand why.Bees are crucial to agriculture. Published reports suggest about a third of the crops eaten by humans depend on insect pollination, with bees responsible for about 80 per cent of that figure.