Archive for July 14th, 2017

TPW TV — The Bee Searcher

Friday, July 14th, 2017
Hardworking native bumblebee

Hardworking native bumblebee

This is Passport to Texas

Jessica Beckham is on a quest to catch some fuzzy flying

Today we are out here surveying bumblebees in a little roadside area of Denton County.

She’s been studying bumblebees at the University of North Texas while pursuing a Ph.D. in environmental science. Next week, the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS follows her efforts in a segment called The Bee Searcher.

Here in Texas, we have sweat bees, digger bees, leaf cutter bees, resin bees. About 700 to 800 species of bees that are native bees. Including nine species of bumblebees.

We know about honeybees and colony collapse disorder, but Jessica Beckham wants to know more about the plight of native bumblebees.

I’m studying native pollinators, bumblebees in particular, because native pollinators may serve as an insurance policy against these losses of honeybees.

Insect pollinators, including bumblebees are responsible for about 80 percent of the pollination of wild flowering plants and about 75 percent of our agricultural plants.

Bumblebees are great pollinators, because the bees deliberately collect pollen and they have a lot more hair than honeybees, and they move a lot of pollen from flower to flower.

View the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV segment The Bee Searcher next week on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.