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Bee populations decline as they lose favorite pollinating plants

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Posted November 25, 2014

Bee populations have declined in recent decades mainly due to a loss of biodiversity causing the disappearance of their favorite pollinating plants, according to a study published Monday.

Oregon State University bee researchers collect "nurse bees" from hives outside on August 5, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University bee researchers collect “nurse bees” from hives outside on August 5, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon

Researchers analyzed the pollen found on the bodies of insects from 57 different wild bee species collected before 1950 and held in natural history museums in the Netherlands. They found that the insects had certain preferred plants for pollinating.

As their favored plants diminished, so too did domestic and wild bee populations, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“Decline of preferred host plants was a main factor associated with bee decline,” said the study led by Jeroen Scheper, an environmental specialist at the Alterra Research Institute in the Netherlands.

Read more at: Phys.org

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