A study led by Cornell University examines the conditions that help apple production flourish. The researchers studied 10 years of data from New York apple orchards to compare the types of landscapes surrounding the orchards and the species of bees that visited each one. The findings indicate that apple orchards surrounded by agricultural lands are visited by a less diverse group of bee species than orchards surrounded by natural habitats. Apple production suffers when fewer, more closely-related species of bees pollinate, and so production improves in orchards surrounded by natural habitats that draw a diverse collection of species to the blossoms.
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