Can our native pollinators take over for collapsing honeybee colonies?

That’s what entomologists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison seek to learn. According to Phil Pelliterri of the Insect Diagnostic Lab, about 4,000 species of insects are known to pollinate hundreds of varieties of human food-source plants in the U.S. Our working pollinators do have contractual requirements though — quoting Pelliterri:

You can’t have native pollinators with a bunch of parking lots. You have to promote patches of native ground, flowers, prairie or oak savanna, so the bees have a food source and habitat to nest in the ground.

Read more here.

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Bee population continues to decline

Preliminary data indicate beehive losses of 30 to 50 percent for this past winter (the normal range is about 10 percent) — unfortunate news that follows years of decline. Although no consensus has been reached regarding the cause, David Mendes, president of the American Beekeeping Federation, places most of the blame on the increased use of varied pesticides. Read more here.

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