Researchers conduct first survey of MN bees

Researchers conduct first survey of MN bees Click to Enlarge Photo:

Aug 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Scientists are cataloging Minnesota's bee population for the first time with the support of a $370,000 state grant.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports state Department of Natural Resources researchers are traveling throughout western Minnesota to conduct a population survey of native bees this summer. Counting bees allows scientists to study the relationships between population changes and pesticide use, disease and habitat disruption.

The grant from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund through state lottery proceeds will fund research for the next two years. Researchers plan to visit 90 sites every two weeks to capture different types of bees throughout the summer.

They use cups coated in ultraviolet fluorescent paint that attracts bees to trap them for the count.

Minnesota is home to more than 350 bee species.

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