Researchers from Iowa State University surveyed pollinator populations in corn and soybean fields, reports the Entomological Society of America. Thirty-four species were collected in both crops, 19 were collected only in corn, and seven were collected only in soybeans. The survey found that the most abundant insects in both crops were solitary, ground-nesting bees, which accounted for 65% of the insect pollinators collected. Honey bees and bumble bees, on the other hand, accounted for only 0.5% of all insects captured. Researchers suggested that to protect the ground nesting bees, farmers should consider no-till practices and planting prairie strips. Boosting pollinator populations has been found in previous studies to increase soybean yields by up to 6%.
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