U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are digging into the soil around alfalfa fields near Touchet, Wash., to unearth new clues to improve the lives of the crop's chief insect pollinator: the alkali bee.
Alkali bees are champion alfalfa flower pollinators, even outperforming the honeybee — so much so that some Touchet farmers maintain open soil parcels called "bee beds" to encourage female alkali bees to dig their nests and raise their young, ensuring generations of pollinat
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