Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bee pastures may help pollinators prosper

Date:
October 6, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Beautiful wildflowers might someday be planted in "bee pastures," floral havens created as an efficient, practical, environmentally friendly, and economically sound way to produce successive generations of healthy young bees. The pesticide-free pastures could be simple to establish, and -- at perhaps only a half-acre each -- easy to tend.

Planting pastures of bee-friendly wildflowers such as California five-spot may help the blue orchard bee, an important pollinator.
Credit: Photo by Jim Cane

Beautiful wildflowers might someday be planted in "bee pastures," floral havens created as an efficient, practical, environmentally friendly, and economically sound way to produce successive generations of healthy young bees.

Related Articles


The pesticide-free pastures could be simple to establish, and -- at perhaps only a half-acre each -- easy to tend, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist James H. Cane. He's based at the Pollinating Insects Biology, Management, and Systematics Research Unit operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Logan, Utah. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Bee pasturing isn't a new idea. But studies by Cane and his collaborators, conducted in a research greenhouse and at outdoor sites in Utah and California, are likely the most extensive to date.

Two bee businesses are already using the findings to propagate more bees.

The research indicates that species of pastured pollinators could include, for example, the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria. This gentle bee helps with pollination tasks handled primarily by the nation's premier pollinator, the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Cane estimates that, under good conditions, blue orchard bee populations could increase by as much as four- to fivefold a year in a well-designed, well-managed bee pasture.

Cane and colleagues have studied wildflowers that might be ideal for planting at bee pastures in California. In particular, the team was interested in early-flowering annuals that could help bolster populations of blue orchard bees needed to pollinate California's vast almond orchards.

The research, funded by ARS and the Modesto-based Almond Board of California, resulted in a first-ever list of five top-choice, bee-friendly wildflowers for tomorrow's bee pastures in almond-growing regions. These pasture-perfect native California plants are: Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla), California five-spot (Nemophila maculata), baby blue eyes (N. menziesii), lacy or tansy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia), and California bluebell (P. campanularia).

Cane has presented results of his research to almond growers at workshops.

Read more about the research in the August 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/aug10/bee0810.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Marcia Wood. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bee pastures may help pollinators prosper." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804110904.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, October 6). Bee pastures may help pollinators prosper. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804110904.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bee pastures may help pollinators prosper." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100804110904.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins