Bringing The World Home To You

© 2023 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Study: Native NC Bees Are More Efficient Pollinators

Honey bees
David Tarpy

Researchers at North Carolina State University have come up with a system to evaluate the efficiency and importance of different species of pollinators. 

The study's authors say insects are the primary pollinators of crops.  The researchers developed their system by looking at the behavior of bees in North Carolina blueberry fields. 

Hannah Burrack is an associate professor of entomology at NC State and a co-author of the study. 

“We controlled how many bees visited a flower,” Burrack says.  “We either excluded bees from visiting or let bees of different types of species visit a flower once and then fifty days after that we came back, collected the fruit that resulted from that visitation and determined how many seeds developed as a result of one bee visit.”

Burrack says while honey bees were the most plentiful, smaller native bees were more efficient pollinators and were also more active in bad weather. 

She says the next step is to evaluate the impact of human activity on different bee populations.

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.
Related Stories
More Stories