11 May Honey Bees Prefer Country Flowers over City Flowers
Country life versus city life. For some, the quiet calm of a country life is preferable over the hustle and bustle of city life. Yet others prefer the exciting and fast-paced life of the city. When it comes to honey bees, however, they prefer the quiet, simple life of the country.
A recent study from Ohio State University has confirmed that honey bees truly do love the country life. For the study, researchers placed honey bee colonies in a central Ohio cemetery where urban life meets country farmland. Consequently, the honey bees had a choice of where they could forage flowers: the city or the country.
The bees were studied from late summer to early fall. The results were clear. The honey bees preferred the blossoms in the country over flowers in urban areas. In fact, throughout the study, the honey bees chose the flowers of the country over the flowers of the city. At one point, 96 percent of the pollen collected was from the country rather than the city.
Douglas Sponsler who now works on the study from Penn State University states, “Honey bees didn’t seem to care that much what the floral diversity was. What they wanted was large patches of their favorite stuff” (Ohio State University, 2017).
Reed Johnson, the senior lead researcher from Ohio State University, said that this explains why urban beekeepers have a difficult time keeping their colonies. The bees simply prefer the country life. “When the bees have a choice, they go to the farmland. We’ve had trouble keeping our urban colonies alive, so this makes a lot of sense to us,” states Johnson (Ohio State University, 2017).
Ohio State University. (2017, March 14). At mealtime, honey bees prefer country blossoms to city blooms: Urban beekeeping could suffer as a result, study authors say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 11, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314111221.htm.