Study: Here are the world’s No. 1 pollinators

“An unprecedented study” by a researcher now with Ohio State has shown that “honey bees are the world’s most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems.”

Keng-Lou James Hung, postdoctoral researcher in the Goodell Lab in Ohio State’s Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, led the study while a graduate student at the University of California-San Diego.

“Biologists have known for a while that honey bees are widespread and abundant,” Hung said in a UC-San Diego press release, “but with this study, we now see in quantitative terms that they are currently the most successful pollinators in the world.”

In his work at Ohio State, Hung is a collaborator on a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded study of pollinators and pests on pumpkin and squash farms. Researchers from Purdue and Michigan State universities also are involved in the study.

USDA’s Economic Research Service says Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, the home of Purdue, are among the top 10 states in pumpkin production.

Ohio farmers alone grew 6,700 acres of pumpkins worth more than $16 million in 2016, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. (Photo: Honey bee, Stephen Ausmus, USDA-ARS.)

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