Summer Science Research at Bryn Mawr

'Kurtz, Lauren' Archive

Crop Pollination by Bees as a Function of Farm Surroundings

Posted May 26, 2010

Pollination is essential for crop production; the quality and amount of pollination directly affects the quality and amount of resulting crops, and thus the profit a farmer can make from a given harvest. Crop pollination is provided primarily by managed colonies of honey bees and a diverse set of native bees. The contributions of the latter remain largely unrecognized and for the most part have not been quantified. These native bees can be viewed as providing a potentially valuable benefit to humanity, a so called ecosystem service. The diversity and of bees on farms has been shown to be affected by surrounding landscape. More complicated and developed land results in a lower diversity and abundance of bees (Klein et al. 2000; Steffan-Dewenter et al. 2001). There is evidence that this ultimately results in lower quality pollination (Kremen et al. 2002).