Benefits of Bee Habitat Go Beyond Pollination
By Tim Hammerich, with the Ag Information Network
Building bee habitat is a great way to bring in pollinators, but its benefits go way beyond pollination, says Xerces Society senior pollinator conservation specialist Jessa Kay Cruz.
“So in addition to obviously the marketing benefits, a lot of the habitat and the plants that support pollinators also support other beneficial insects. So like natural enemies of crop pests, lady beetles, lacewings, parasitic wasps,” said Cruz.
“You know, if you’re a total bug geek, you could just go down the rabbit hole here. But it’s just seeing, you know, all of those insects are attracted to the same type of habitat, floral resources, all of that. And so farmers really will benefit by the ecosystem services that both pollinators provide, but also all of these other beneficial insects,” noted Cruz.
Cruz sees the construction of bee habitat as good for the environment, good for the crop, and good for the bottom line.
“Having habitat on a farm. Really helps with water infiltration, control erosion, it helps with the process of carbon sequestration. So, there are so many reasons to do this, not just for bees, but just for our health as a planet, as a whole,” said Cruz.
The Xerces Society offers a Bee Better Certification that allows some farmers to differentiate their products based on bee-friendly practices.