Read the full story in Science.
There are more than 2500 bee species around the world that pollinate plants, and research has shown that having a variety of pollinators can boost crop yields and naturally control pests. Yet in many farm environments, there’s only one bee to be found: Apis mellifera, the European honey bee. Thousands of years of domestication have made this insect able to pollinate under a wide variety of circumstances, but native wild bees (such as this metallic green bee) need native habitat, which is often in short supply in agricultural environments. According to new findings reported here today at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science, farmers can invite greater bee diversity in their fields by diversifying their crops.