Girl Planting seeds

Organic farming enhances honeybee colony performance

Bees are valuable to humans not only because they produce honey, but also because they pollinate wildflowers and food crops. They exclusively eat nectar and pollen. So in areas where intensive agriculture is practised, they suffer from the thin supply of flowers in May and June, when cultivated oilseed rape (colza) and sunflower are not in bloom. During that period, pollen collection, honey production and colony growth slow.  An article published in the Journal of Applied Ecology shows that organic farming can limit this decline. Land on which organic crops are grown offers domesticated bees more resources, especially spontaneous vegetation (unjustly dubbed "weeds"). After examining data spanning six years for 180 hives in west central France, the researchers found that—compared with bee colonies in areas farmed conventionally—colonies living amid organic farm fields boast 37 percent more brood, 20 percent more adult bees, and 53 percent greater honey production.  Read more....



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