Does wildfire create home sweet home for bees?
In case you haven’t heard, bees are in serious trouble all around the world. If you like to eat food, that’s a big concern.
Turns out, researchers with Oregon State University are also finding that with increased wildfire severity they are also noticing a higher abundance of bees.
I have to wonder if that higher abundance of bees would also be found on corporate and industrial timber lands, which are often sprayed heavily with a cocktail of various pesticides and herbicides. My guess is not.
Get the full scoop here. Below are some snips:
“We’re looking at a few different (habitat) characteristics. And one of the big ones is canopy cover. In the moderate-high and high fire severity categories, there’s pretty low canopy cover. So you get more flowering plants that come in,” Oregon State University researcher Sara GalbraithGalbraith says.
In these places where more than 50 percent of the canopy burned, it’s also warmer and there’s potentially more nesting habitat. These aren’t hive-dwellers; these bees look for mineral soil to burrow into.
“The story so far has been pretty straightforward,” she says, “in that we’re finding that with increased disturbance at our sites — so increased fire severity — we get higher abundance of bees. And we also get more bee species.”…
“We have millions of acres of forests in Oregon that we’re managing. And at this point, we don’t have really good information about how those management practices influence bees. If I do ‘X’ how does that influence the number of bees and the species composition?” – Jim Rivers of the OSU Forest Animal Ecology Lab…
Study lead Sarah Galbraith is beginning to think about this possibility. She thinks there could be a critical link between native bees that live in forests and nearby farmland.
“By protecting our pollinators in the forest, we are potentially protecting our food security now and into the future.”
via A New Century of Forest Planning http://ift.tt/YeNBM9