Native hum

Jones, Lisa
June 2007
High Country News;6/11/2007, Vol. 39 Issue 11, p4
The article reports on the significant role of alkali bees on the agriculture industry in Utah. Farmers have discovered that the primary pollinator of their crop was not the honeybee, but the alkali bees which loved grazing over alfalfa. Eventually, as cited, instead of honeybees, farmers had started transplanting thousands of cubic feet of soil with alkali bee nests to aid in the production of alfalfa seed. Moreover, the alkali bees' capability of pollinating 5,500 flowers daily turned the attention of a whole sector of commercial farmers away from the European honeybee. The scientists had estimated that honeybees add $15 billion to the value of American agriculture annually while native bees add about $3 billion.


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