A first kind of study over US’s map for wild bees that suggests they have been vanishing from the most significant farmlands. The area of study extended from Mississippi River Valley to Midwest’s Corn Belt to California’s Central Valley. If the decline of wild bees continue in same tone it can easily hurt the crop production in United States as well as the costs for farmers. Taylor Ricketts, a conservation ecologist and director of UVM’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, says, “This study provides the first national picture of wild bees and their impacts on pollination.”
He also notes that around $3 billion of US economy relies on pollination from local pollinators such as wild bees. Rickett further adds, “Wild bees are a precious natural resource we should celebrate and protect. If managed with care, they can help us continue to produce billions of dollars in agricultural income and a wonderful diversity of nutritious food.” The map includes 139 counties across the agricultural regions in California, the upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, West Texas, Mississippi River valley, as well as Great Plains. All of these happen to be one of the most worrisome mismatch between the rising demand for crop pollination and declining bee supply.
Most of these counties happen to be at places that produce specialty crops such as apples, blueberries, and almonds. All of these rely heavily on pollinators and some other have less replying crops like cotton, canola, and soybeans. But what is of major concern about the crops that mostly depend on pollinators like pears, blueberries, apples, plums, peaches, watermelons, and pumpkins. These appeared to have quite strong pollination mismatch, these have been growing in the regions that have dropping supply of wild bees and enhancement in pollination demand. Ricketts adds in the end, “The good news about bees is now that we know where to focus conservation efforts, paired with all we know about what bees need, habitat-wise, there is hope for preserving wild bees.”
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