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Wild bees on farms

The more the merrier

Jul 17, 2015
Wild bees on farms

Abundance over diversity: The researchers around ecologist Rachael Winfree found that even though biodiversity is good thing for the environment in general, when it comes to the pollination of a particular crop plant, it is better to have more individual bees. In earlier research, Winfree had shown that thousands of wild species are responsible for pollinating about 80 percent of flowering plants around the world: solitary bees perform 62 percent of watermelon pollination, 25 percent for cranberry, and 14 percent for blueberry.

And the good news is: Wild bees don’t have to be managed. Given the right conditions, they just show up. “Farmers can plant fallow fields and road edges with flowering plants, preferably plants whose flowering periods overlap,” Winfree says. “They can leave piles of excavated earth when they dig a ditch or a pond, which will give ground-nesting bees a place to live and flowering plants a place to grow. And farmers can work with their neighbors to make the edges of their property bee-friendly as well.”

Bayer promotes flower strips
Bayer has been involved in promoting pollinator strips for many years. Recent campaigns include the Bayer US initiative Feed A Bee  and the Bees Matter campaign in Canada.

Winfree, R, J Fox, N Williams, *J Reilly, and *D Cariveau. 2015. Abundance of common species, not species richness, drives delivery of a real-world ecosystem service. Here is a link to the full study.

The Winfree study was picked up by the Futurity site, which features the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia and Autralia. You can read the article here.

Blooming Strips – a Contribution to Bee Health

Enjoy exploring our new, interactive BIGGER PICTURE and find out more about how nesting sites, planting flowers in your garden or with indigenous plants on arable land.can help promote honey bees’ health.

Blooming Strips – a Contribution to Bee Health

Enjoy exploring our new, interactive BIGGER PICTURE and find out more about how nesting sites, planting flowers in your garden or with indigenous plants on arable land.can help promote honey bees’ health.

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