Honeybees and Beneficial Insects Species

One-third of all food consumed by humans is dependent on pollination by a diverse group of insects including honey bees. Declines in populations of native bee species and honey bee populations have been recorded in recent years. Reasons for declines in pollination communities include diseases, poor nutrition, stress, pesticides, and habitat destruction. Canola is a member of the Brassica family and possesses an entomophilic (insect-loving) flower structure. This open flower design of canola facilitates easy access to a wide range of pollinator species to an abundant supply of nutritious pollen and nectar. Canola pollen typically contains 25% protein which consists of a blend of high-quality amino acids, 10 of which are essential for bees, and approximately 7% fat content. Regarded as a “Superfood” for both native and honey bee species the cultivation of canola as a commercial crop, as a component of cover crops, or as a small-scale localized source of pollen and nectar for bees represents a tremendous boost to pollinator communities.

Based on the canola crop’s attractiveness to foraging wild bee and insect populations, we continue to investigate crop production practices to enhance wild bee and beneficial insect populations. For a comprehensive account of the role of pollinator communities including non-native honeybees and the diverse species of bees native to the US, please read the below article- Pollinator Communities.