The latest news from the Grassland 2.0 team on grassland-based agriculture and sustainable agriculture.
Midwest bumble bees declined with more farmed land, less diverse crops since 1870
As farmers cultivated more land and began to grow fewer types of crops over the last 150 years, most native bumble bee species became rarer in Midwestern states.
New research reveals that these species declined while the average number of different crops grown in these states was cut in half and as modern agriculture began to focus on intensive production of corn and soybeans. A handful of hardy species continue to thrive today, but they also seem to prefer areas with a more diverse assortment of crops such as hay, beans, potatoes and oats in addition to corn and soy.