Wild Bees Are Worth $1.5 Billion for 6 U.S. Crops


Health Editor’s Note: I would say that the bee pollinators have done a bang up job here in blueberry country.  15 minutes is all it takes to get a full bucket of  really wonderfully delicious blueberries. Of course that is not counting all the berries that go directly into your mouth.  🙂 … Carol

Wild Bees Are Worth $1.5 Billion for Six U.S. Crops

by Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com

A new study finds that the yields of major crops in the United States are frequently limited by a lack of pollinators. The study also highlighted the value of America’s wild bees, estimating they boost yields for six of the country’s seven major crops examined in the study to the tune of $1.5 billion a year, reports Susan Milius for Science News.

The study, published last week in the journal the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, collected data on insect pollination and crop yield from 131 farms in the United States and Canada. At the farms, the researchers focused on seven crops: apples, highbush blueberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, almond, watermelon and pumpkin, reports Dharna Noor for Gizmodo.

The researchers counted bee visits to flowers on the farms to see which bees were pollinating them and collected data on the resulting crop yields. The team then used statistical models to determine whether those crops could have achieved even higher yields if they’d had more pollinators.

The study found that five of the seven crops are pollination-limited, “meaning crop production would be higher if crop flowers received more pollination,” study author Rachael Winfree, an ecologist at Rutgers University, explains in a statement…..read more:



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