Nav: Home

Science-based guidelines for building a bee-friendly landscape

April 05, 2019

St. Paul, MN (April, 2019)--Bees are critical members of the ecosystem: 75% of leading food crops have some level of dependency on pollinators. However, native bee populations are struggling because of loss of habitat and food, often caused by urban and suburban development. The good news is that a single tree or shrub can produce thousands of flowers with high-quality pollen and nectar, providing bees with the protein and carbohydrates they need to thrive.

Many resources encourage homeowners and land care managers to create bee-friendly environments, but most of them include lists of recommended plants rarely backed by science. To rectify this, Dr. Daniel Potter surveyed 72 native and non-native woody plant species in 5 sample sites throughout the Ohio Valley region to document which species attract which bees. His findings, which he summarizes in the webcast "Woody Plants for Urban Bee Conservation," include the following:
  • Both native and non-native plants attract diverse communities of bees, and non-native plants can extend the flowering season.
  • Flower form matters. Plants that are horticulturally modified for aesthetic reasons, such as flowers with double petals, don't attract bees.
  • Many of the best bee-magnet plants are pest free, which is attractive to homeowners.
Potter ends his presentation with a list of the best woody plants and recommendations for building a bee-friendly landscape. He suggests planting a variety of trees and shrubs that bloom at different times of the growing season--such as a cornelian cherry dogwood that blooms in the early spring, a bottlebrush buckeye for the summer season, and a seven sons flower tree for the autumn--to provide crucial floral resources through the winter. Other recommendations can be found in the webcast.

This 19-minute webcast is part of a module in the new Pollinators Hub on the Plant Management Network (PMN). The module includes a webcast, summary webcast, podcast, slide set, and study guide. PMN is a cooperative, not-for-profit resource for the applied agricultural and horticultural sciences. Together with more than 80 partners, which include land-grant universities, scientific societies, and agribusinesses, PMN publishes quality, applied, and science-based information for practitioners.
-end-


American Phytopathological Society

Related Bees Articles:

To buzz or to scrabble? To foraging bees, that's the question
A team of UA biologists has discovered that for a hard-working bumblebee, foraging for pollen versus nectar is very different -- and tougher than you might think.
Nicotine enhances bees' activity
Nicotine-laced nectar can speed up a bumblebee's ability to learn flower colors, according to scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
Scientists say agriculture is good for honey bees
Scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health.
Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought
Research conducted at the University of Adelaide has discovered that bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision.
Overuse of antibiotics brings risks for bees -- and for us
Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have found that honeybees treated with a common antibiotic were half as likely to survive the week after treatment compared with a group of untreated bees, a finding that may have health implications for bees and people alike.
Flies and bees act like plant cultivators
Pollinator insects accelerate plant evolution, but a plant changes in different ways depending on the pollinator.
Bees can learn to use a tool by observing others
Simply by watching other bees, bumblebees can learn to use a novel tool to obtain a reward, a new study reveals.
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
Attacks by robber bees result in the evolution of larger guard bees and thus promote the division of labor in the hive.
Save the bees? There's an app for that
A new mobile app can calculate the crop productivity and pollination benefits of supporting endangered bees.
Sweat bees on hot chillies: Native bees thrive in traditional farming, securing good yield
Farming doesn't always have to be harmful to bees: Even though farmers on the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan traditionally slash-and-burn forest to create small fields, this practice can be beneficial to sweat bees by creating attractive habitats.

Related Bees Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".