Bark beetle outbreaks benefit wild bee populations, habitat

Image of spruce forest damaged by bark beetles.

(Colorado State University) When southern Rocky Mountain forests are viewed from a distance these days, it may not look like much is left. Large swaths of dead, standing Engelmann spruce trees tell the tale of a severe regional spruce beetle epidemic in its waning stages. But new research suggests that spruce beetle outbreaks may help create habitat for pollinator communities in wilderness settings. The research team found significant increases in floral abundance and wild bee diversity in outbreak-affected forests, compared to similar, undisturbed forest.

Agroforestry is ‘win win’ for bees and crops

Image of trees in the woods.

(EurekAlert/University of Reading) A new study provides observed evidence that Planting woody plant species alongside crops can increase wild insect pollinator numbers and increases pollination. Researchers found agroforestry sites had double the number of solitary bees and hoverflies, and in arable agroforestry sites there were 2.4 times more bumblebees than in those with just one kind of crop.