Slideshow: Can native bees take over crop pollination?

A CALS grad student’s research on whether native bees can take over the job of pollinating Wisconsin’s commercial crops is the topic of this new YouTube video slideshow. CALS science writer Nicole Miller produced the slideshow, in which  Hannah Gaines, a Ph.D. student in the entomology department, talks about her work studying native pollinators in Wisconsin’s cranberry crop. Cranberry growers routinely rent honeybees to do the pollinating, but relying on native pollinators could cut costs. Gaines is studying how the nature of the surrounding landscape affects pollination in the Wisconsin cranberry bogs. During 2008, she collected 108 species of native bees, and found that both abundance and diversity increased along with the amount of nearby natural habitat. More info on the topic is available in this article by University Communications staff writer David Tennenbaum, which features CALS entomologist Phil Pellitteri as well as Gaines.