Bumblebees and Blueberries

Flowering plants and pollinators depend on each other. It’s a global truism, and it’s true on a 440 acre blueberry farm in northern Florida. “Bumblebees are extremely efficient pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Joseph O’Brien. “In the time it takes a honeybee to pollinate a single blueberry flower, a bumblebee can pollinate as…  More 

Bees Prefer Open Habitats

Bees are a critical part of many flowering plants’ reproductive cycles. “By some estimates, nearly 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants are pollinated by bees, butterflies, beetles, or other pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research entomologist Michael Ulyshen. “There is also growing evidence that many pollinators are declining.” In the U.S., there are approximately…  More 

Finding Out More About Native Bees

When people think about bees, it’s often honeybees that come to mind. Native to Eurasia, honeybees pollinate apple, peach and almond trees, watermelons, cucumbers, and many other food crops. In many areas, beekeepers take to the highway with their colonies, traveling to whatever crop is blooming and in need of pollination. “Honeybees are an agricultural…  More 

Tracking Bees on Experimental Forests

At first sight, the nine plastic cups in a grassy yard at Bent Creek Experimental Forest don’t look like part of a nationwide monitoring survey. But the cups are actually simple bee traps, and a number of U.S. Forest Service facilities are part of a network of bee monitoring stations that stretch across the country.…  More