Identifying the bee’s knees of bumble bee diets

by Emily Caldwell, The Ohio State University
May 22, 2023

A new study has identified the bee’s knees of bumble bee dietary options in Ohio and the Upper Midwest. By viewing almost 23,000 bumble bee-flower interactions over two years, researchers found that these bees don’t always settle for the most abundant flowers in their foraging area – suggesting they have more discerning dietary preferences than one might expect. Being large, strong and social bees that can fly for long distances, bumble bees are major contributors to pollination, particularly for agriculture – but like other pollinators threatened by habitat loss, climate change and disease, the numbers of some species are dwindling. This new data can help guide planting decisions for professional and amateur conservationists alike, researchers say.

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