Making a home on the range for bees a win-win for agriculture and nature

Farmers and ranchers should be buzzed about bees and making room for the busy little insect in their land management, say researchers in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences who are leading one of the first studies to establish baseline data about bees across Alberta.

They found that regions with more grasslands harboured higher numbers and more kinds of bees, as opposed to cropland.

“Native grassland provides a broader diversity of food and nesting sites because there’s less soil disturbance and more natural vegetation,” said Monica Kohler, who worked on the research project for her master’s degree.

The researchers, led by rangeland ecologist Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, and Jessamyn Manson an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, wanted to find out how agricultural development affects the bees in Alberta, given that globally, the insect’s numbers are falling.

Read the entire story about Native Bees.