Queen Bee — The bee marked in yellow is this hive's queen (roughly dead center in this image). There is usually only one queen in a hive, which the worker honeybees feed, follow, and protect. Society needs healthy bees and other insects to pollinate crops, but land use changes that decrease flower abundance can affect bee health and pollination services. Midwestern states are losing native grasslands and conservation lands that historically have provided abundant flowers for pollinators. The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center partners and works closely with professional beekeepers in North Dakota to evaluate what plant species honey bees forage on and when.
Photo credit: Marisa Lubeck, USGS.