Even bees have their preferred meal when they are hungry. Bees like flowers and their flavor when they are fresh from the rural areas rather than in the neighboring urban cities, researchers stated.
This newfound information will definitely challenge the urban beekeepers in how they will handle it. It will also debunk the long-believed thing that farmland and honey bees are incompatible, said authors of a new study from The Ohio State University. The researchers experimented on some honeybee colonies.
They placed the honey bee colonies in an apiary in a central Ohio cemetery right in the middle of where urban residential development meets the farmland. They left the colonies of honey bees to fend for themselves and choose what flower pollen and where to get nectar from. The outcome of the study has shocked the researchers. Almost every time, the honeybees went to the rural areas, unlike what they expected.
The study went on from late summer to early fall, said lead author Douglas Sponsler, who was a graduate student in entomology at Ohio State when the research was conducted in 2014. The study, which was published in the Journal of Urban Ecology, has found out that the plants from the agricultural areas are really favored by the bees. At some point, it even came out with 96 percent of collected pollen, reported Science Daily.
"Honey bees didn't seem to care that much what the floral diversity was. What they wanted was large patches of their favorite stuff," said Sponsler, who now works at Penn State University. The honey bees' favorite was Goldenrod, according to the researchers. It also became more prominent as winter was approaching and end of the season.
This might change the minds of beekeepers. This study has proven that assorted plants do not necessarily attract bees. This has also answered as to why bees in the urban areas are dying.