By Josh Lancette
New research published this week in the journal Environmental Entomology shows that planting wildflowers next to almond orchards does not cause fewer honey bees to visit the orchard. This finding is important because it shows wildflower plantings can help keep bee populations healthy while also not harming almond crops. “Establishing flowering field-edge plantings has gained popularity as a strategy to mitigate the threats that bee pollinators face in intensively managed agricultural landscapes,” says Ola Lundin, Ph.D., one of the researchers and an author on the paper.
“The basic idea is simple: to provide more flowers for bees. Flower plantings can potentially affect pollinator visitation rates in neighboring crops both positively by supporting pollinator populations and attracting them to crops or negatively by distracting them from crops. Growers and practitioners are often understandably concerned that alternative forage blooming concurrently with the focal crop might compete for pollinators and negatively affect crop yield.”.......Read more of this post