Linda Poole

NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist
Liza Gross's recent article in Civil Eats states that:

Scientists are only now starting to study how ever-more-common heat waves may disrupt the way bees and other pollinators interact with plants, with cascading negative impacts on crop production.
Excessive heat can interfere with photosynthesis and diminish the nutritional value of flowers, which in turn can impair the survival, development and reproductive success of pollinators that feed on them, including bees. It can also change the size of bees’ legs, wings and proboscis and even hinder their memory, all of which support efficient pollination.
Warmer than normal temperatures may send bees out to forage before flowers emerge, Walters said. “And they’re going to starve for some amount of time.”
But as land managers we can help pollinators:
Growers should invest in “rescue resources” for bees, like wildflowers, clover and other native flowering plants, Walters said. That will help supplement their diet, minimize their nutritional stress and reduce the negative effects of climate change.

On the bright side, University of Nevada’s Forister said, there’s a lot of resilience built into natural ecosystems. “It’s surprising.”

He recalled working on restoration projects in California’s Central Valley and seeing nothing but monocultures of pesticide-treated tomatoes stretch toward the horizon.

“And if the farmers have allowed just one field edge to go back to some kind of feral vegetation, where there’s flowers, you look down, and there’s a bee,” Forister said. “They’re always waiting around the edges for us to give them a chance to come back. We just have to give them that chance.”

Read the full article here.
 

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