A dramatic decline in the bee population at fruit farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania has Rutgers scientists wondering whether it is a natural phenomenon or a warning about a future threat to the world’s food supply. In a study published in the science journal Insect Conservation and Diversity, Rutgers scientists, who have been tracking the decline in bee pollination at fruit farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, say more long-term studies must be done since bee pollination is necessary for plants to reproduce and crucial to supplying food to animals and humans throughout the world.

 “This study is important because it is one of the first to assess trends in wild bee abundance in an agricultural system, where bees are providing an economically important ecosystem service,” said Andrew Aldercotte, lead author on the study and a doctoral candidate in the Rutgers graduate program in ecology and evolution. “Despite widespread recognition of the need for long-term monitoring of pollinator abundances and pollination service provision, such studies are exceedingly rare.” To read the full story.