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.

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 September 1, 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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