Wild bees add about $1.5 billion to yields for just six U.S. crops

Read the full story in Science News.

U.S. cherries, watermelons and some other summertime favorites may depend on wild bees more than previously thought.

Many farms in the United States use managed honeybees to pollinate crops and increase yields, sometimes trucking beehives from farm to farm. Now an analysis of seven crops across North America shows that wild bees can play a role in crop pollination too, even on conventional farms abuzz with managed honeybees. Wild volunteers add at least $1.5 billion in total to yields for six of the crops, a new study estimates.

Associated journal article: Reilly J. R. et al (2020). “Crop production in the USA is frequently limited by a lack of pollinators.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Chemistry B. 287, 20200922. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.0922

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