Matching bees to crops in Saskatchewan to benefit agriculture
Matching up Saskatchewan’s hundreds of species of bees with the right plants could give Saskatchewan's agriculture sector a big shot in the arm.
Dr. Cory Sheffield is using a special digital imaging apparatus to catalog the 200 plus different bee species in Saskatchewan by taking super high-quality pictures of the different kinds of bees.
Sheffield is a bee specialist -- known as the "Curator of Invertebrate Zoology" -- who's now working at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.
He says if we can get certain species to nest near the plants they best pollinate, the results could be tremendous.
“The more we can learn about their biology, the more likely we can increase we’ll be able to increase their numbers in agricultural landscapes so we can put more of the duties of pollination in their hands,” said Sheffield.
That's exactly what was done with the alfalfa leaf cutter bee years ago. Sheffield says now it’s a billion dollar industry.
Sheffield expects he'll actually find even more species we didn't realize were in the province, given that there are more than 800 varieties of bees across Canada.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.