Bees Are Making An Important Comeback In Michigan
You've probably seen adds on television, mainly before the Coronavirus hit, about the importance of bees. But why are they so important? Don't they just sting people and make us mad? Most likely, no. There are a lot of aggressive "bee" type insects out there but the bee is super important for a number of reasons. They're vital for stable, healthy food supplies and they're key to the varied, colorful, and nutritious diets we need.
Bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed, and produce food. They do this by transferring pollen between flowering plants, thus keeping the cycle of life turning. The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees: everything from almonds and vanilla to apples and squashes. Luckily in Michigan, it looks like we're doing a good job of bringing their numbers back up.
A new report of data from research collected from the United States Department of Agriculture ranked Michigan fourth in states with the highest bee colony growth. Michigan only came behind Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Maine. Michigan has seen a 50% increase in its bee colony growth. That buzz is generating a much better scenario for the bee, even though states like Iowa, who have seen a 256% decrease, continue to lose colonies.
The increase in numbers is crucial because, in Michigan, researchers found that at least six bee species have declined by 50% or more in the last 20 years. Sadly one species, the rusty patched bumblebee, has become extinct.
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