DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — Bees have a new summer home.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have put together a hotel for bees as part of a research project.
They want to study native bees — New Hampshire has about 250 species — and get a better understanding of pollinator diversity and ecology.
Researchers hope the study will help local bee populations and restore and rejuvenate healthy plant pollinator habitats.
Sandra Rehan, who oversees the recently launched UNH Bee Lab, says bees are critical to food crops and natural ecosystems. However, she says, the abundance and diversity of bees are declining in many areas, including New England, due to a loss of habitat and agricultural environments and the use of pesticides and chemicals.
The hotel is the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station’s Woodman Farm.
“Basic data on species diversity and habitat preferences will be fundamental to future studies to ameliorate declining bee populations and to target species at risk,” Rehan said.