Native Bees: Preserving Wild Bees

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For generations, farmers around the world have depended upon honey bees to pollinate many of the crops that we eat. But there’s a shortage of honey bees, due in part to disease and the use of pesticides. Well, it turns out that wild bees can pollinate crops as well, and efforts are underway to help preserve native bees as an important natural resource. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire Kremen is an Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology at Princeton University

“There’s a lot we can do to conserve bees, I think, and get utility from these bees as crop pollinators. So, we’ve particularly been targeting farmers. First, to let them know how important these wild bees can be for them, and then to give them a set of recommendations of what they could actually do on their own farm to provide a little bit of habitat on their farm. Things that we can do, for example, include restoring little pieces of bee habitat using native plants, on farms, perhaps around field edges, by the side of irrigation ditches, around tail water ponds and that kind of thing. We can also help to set aside some areas for bees to nest in, just some small, undisturbed areas of bare ground can be really important for ground nesting bees, for example. We can let people know that preserving natural habitat is also really important, and there are a variety of different types of conservation activities that are already underway lands that are run by the Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy’s preserves. All of these things can contribute sources of natural habitat and sources of bees into the agricultural and natural landscape mosaic.”

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

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Native Bees: Preserving Wild Bees

Learn what can be done to preserve and protect native bees.
Air Date:10/28/2004
Scientist:
Transcript:


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For generations, farmers around the world have depended upon honey bees to pollinate many of the crops that we eat. But there’s a shortage of honey bees, due in part to disease and the use of pesticides. Well, it turns out that wild bees can pollinate crops as well, and efforts are underway to help preserve native bees as an important natural resource. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Claire Kremen is an Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology at Princeton University

“There’s a lot we can do to conserve bees, I think, and get utility from these bees as crop pollinators. So, we’ve particularly been targeting farmers. First, to let them know how important these wild bees can be for them, and then to give them a set of recommendations of what they could actually do on their own farm to provide a little bit of habitat on their farm. Things that we can do, for example, include restoring little pieces of bee habitat using native plants, on farms, perhaps around field edges, by the side of irrigation ditches, around tail water ponds and that kind of thing. We can also help to set aside some areas for bees to nest in, just some small, undisturbed areas of bare ground can be really important for ground nesting bees, for example. We can let people know that preserving natural habitat is also really important, and there are a variety of different types of conservation activities that are already underway lands that are run by the Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy’s preserves. All of these things can contribute sources of natural habitat and sources of bees into the agricultural and natural landscape mosaic.”

Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music