Monday, July 9, 2018

Bumblebees Thrive in the City but Struggle on the Farm

As many may know, bumblebees are beneficial to the pollination of flowers and crops. Curiously enough, more bumblebees have been noticed around populated cities rather than vast agricultural fields. The reason for this is that city parks and gardens provide a wide variety of flowers throughout the seasons whereas agricultural fields only offer one type of flower for a short period of time. In a study performed by Ash Samuelson, a graduate student at Royal Holloway University, she transferred more than a hundred colonies of wild queen bees into London’s cities, suburbs and farms. The results concluded that the city bees thrived more than the country bees. It is possible that agricultural fields are not as advantageous because farms offer fewer flowers and potentially have more pesticides.

Samuelson’s research suggests that by planting more wildflowers around crops could increase pollination and foraging opportunities. It is a natural way that could replace other crop enrichment methods. I find this research helpful for farmers who are looking to enhancing their crop population, however, I think the downside to planting more flowers is the possibility of welcoming more animals that may eat the crops.
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1 comment:

  1. I think this study is interesting because I would have never thought that bees would thrive more in the city. Although I do see where the additional use of pesticides on farms could affect bees, I did not realize about the variety of flowers in the city. Due to the decrease in bee population I feel that introducing more flowers in more areas could be beneficial.