Posted 18 September 2011, by Ben Gelber, NBC4i, nbc41.com
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OSU Scientists Abuzz About Bee Population, In the wake of the loss of a quarter of Ohio’s bee population, OSU experts are looking at ways to maintain diversity among the population of bee survivors—-who are critical to successful crops.
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The loss of about a quarter of Ohio’s honeybees, due to a mysterious illness and parasites in the past several years, has forced researchers to take a hard look at the diversity of Ohio’s 500 native bee populations to ensure their environment is protected.
Ohio State researchers in the Environment Ecology and Organismal Biology Department, such as Dr. Karen Goodell, are studying bees in the Wilds in Muskingum County, an area once mined for coal that has been restored as prairie land.
The Great Bee Count on July 16 and August 20 brought attention to USA bee populations by enlisting tens of thousand of volunteers around the country to count bees on Sunflowers and other target plant species during a 25-minute period.
This project will provide “a foundation for asking more detailed questions about the status of bees,” said Dr. Goodell.
While not identifying specific bee populations that may be at risk, the volunteer information nonetheless is “complementary to that collected by ecologists.”
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