Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Although farmers know that bees are essential pollinators for many crops, they usually don’t dedicate parts of their valuable planting space to create a habitat just for bees. But according to new research, farmers should really consider sharing their land with these pollinating insects.

In the fields of California’s Central Valley, researchers analyzed crop values, land ownership patterns, and bee ecology to determine the benefits of creating bee habitats for landowners.

The researchers found that in Yolo County, for instance, crops like berries and nuts that are dependent upon bees for pollination are worth thousands of dollars per acre. That means every inch of land is valuable. This motivated the researchers to ask the question: “Under what circumstances is it worth it for a farmer to invest in habitat for wild bees?”

Creating a habitat for wild bees on farms doesn’t have to be a large undertaking. Landowners can simply let a small bit of land stay wild amid the crops so bees can find a familiar haven among the plants. It can be difficult for farmers to find the incentive of giving up valuable planting land in exchange for wild habitat, but the researchers’ stats make a pretty convincing case.

They found that if 40 percent of landowners were to provide space for wild bee habitat, those landowners would lose $1 million dollars themselves, but generate nearly $2.5 million for their neighbors.

While that doesn’t sound like a great deal, the research shows that there is value in converting farmland into bee habitat—and if we can quantify that value, then landowners can work together to make sure some farmers supply wild bees to others that need them.

For instance, it might not make sense for someone with very valuable crops to convert a part of their farmland into bee habitat, but if they could pay their neighbor to do so on their farm, then it could benefit both parties.

The study, which was published in the journal People and Nature, provides a road map for how farms can identify opportunities for cooperative management of bee habitat. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

These seaweed-inspired sensors use underwater currents to power themselves

Ocean protection increasingly relies on the internet of things (IoT) to gather essential data with the help of a variety of marine distributed sensors underwater. Most of these devices, however, have always been highly dependent ... Read More

Doctors complete first successful pig to human kidney transplant

For the first time ever, doctors at NYU Langone Health in New York City have successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human. The primary function of this organ is to filter waste products and ... Read More

Vienna Tourist Board thwarts social media with unusual platform

The events of the past year or so have made us wonder: how much power should social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have over what we see, and what we are presented with? Due ... Read More

This sustainable pigment is made from sewage sludge

While it may be comforting to think that everything we send down the drain somehow magically disappears without leaving an ecological footprint behind, that is far from what actually happens. In reality, the process involves ... Read More

The Calm Line is Colombia’s anti-machismo hotline for men

Cultures that are deeply ingrained with the concept of machismo, or the belief that men must be dominant, often have issues surrounding abuse and violence against women. While there are many women-centered movements and support ... Read More

Benefits of the contraceptive pill include diabetes prevention

A study carried out at the University of Birmingham has found that contraceptive pills may offer more than just their primary role as birth control. It was found that for people with polycystic ovary syndrome ... Read More