Can You Bee-lieve It?
Texas A&M University researchers and Texas A&M AgriLife extension agents are conducting bee research to preserve the state's bee population.
- By Sadie Kammlah '25
- Photo provided by Texas A&M AgriLife
- Oct. 11, 20231 min read
Texas A&M University researchers and Texas A&M AgriLife extension agents are working with state beekeepers to closely monitor bee population trends, and recent developments are something to buzz about.
Over the last few years, Texas honeybee populations have dropped due to drought affecting wildflower growth. Fewer wildflowers translated to a sharp decrease in honey production since there was less pollen for honeybees to bring back to their hives. However, AgriLife entomologists have observed that honeybee populations are rebounding thanks to recent weather shifts.
“We saw a nice nectar flow and population growth partially because of the unusually high rainfall early this past spring,” explained Dr. Juliana Rangel, a honeybee scientist in Texas A&M's Department of Entomology. “In the 10 years I’ve lived in this area, I’ve never seen as many wildflowers blooming as I saw this year.”
With bees pollinating 35% of the world’s crops, their population changes can have ripple effects on state agriculture. In addition to monitoring these trends, Rangel and other Texas A&M researchers study topics on bee biology, ecology and pathology to ensure future honeybee health.