“You get bigger plants and more fruit if bumble bees do the pollination.”

Here’s What You Can Do To Help The Declining Bee Population

If bumble bees disappear completely from this Earth, we’ll lose one of the world’s best pollinators. “Even if you can self-pollinate a crop, you get bigger plants and more fruit if bumble bees do the pollination,” Georgia Parham, spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told Popular Science. They’ve got the “buzz pollination” technique down: Grabbing part of the flower in their jaws and vibrating their wings to shake the pollen.

“A major reason bees and pollinators are in decline is urban development,” says Clint Perry, a cognitive neuroethologist at Queen Mary University who’s studying bee cognition. “With bumble bees, its not just the food they eat, but wildflowers and the whole ecosystem itself.” They pollinate blueberries, cranberries, and clover, and are almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes, according to the USFWS. Native insects — mostly bees — are worth $3 billion per year in pollination services in the United States.

The good news is, you don’t need to quit your day job and become a beekeeper, or have a degree in melittology to help save the bees.

Read more on Popular Science, here.

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