Young Living Highlights Study on Pollinator-Friendly Farming Practices, Fostering Bee Diversity in Honor of Earth Day

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A new study published ahead of Earth Day in the scientific journal, Diversity, surveyed the bee species present at the Mt. Nebo Botanical Farm and Distillery in Utah. The results show how the lavender plant, along with agricultural lands, can support a diverse community of bees through the implementation of pollinator-friendly practices.

2024 Earth Day – Young Living

Young Living's lavender fields and responsible agriculture foster bee diversity
Young Living’s lavender fields and responsible agriculture foster bee diversity

Lehi, Utah, April 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Young Living Essential Oils, a global leader in essential oils and oil-infused wellness products, is celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd by highlighting how their pollinator-friendly farming practices foster bee diversity. The study, recently published in the scientific journal Diversity, marks the first comprehensive survey conducted in North America on bees visiting lavender. Conducted from May through October 2022 at the Mt. Nebo Botanical Farm and Distillery in Utah, this study sheds light on lavender’s role in supporting a wide variety of bee species and showcasing how responsible agricultural practices can foster robust bee communities.

Tyler Wilson, Senior Scientist at Young Living Essential Oils, emphasized the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainable farming practices, and advancing products responsibly. “Young Living’s farms serve as a testament to the symbiotic relationship that can exist between agriculture and biodiversity,” Wilson explains. “Our commitment goes beyond high-quality products; it’s about how we cultivate them, our reverence for nature, and our unwavering dedication to enhancing our already exemplary farming practices.”

Planting lavender is often recommended to support pollinators, yet there is limited knowledge about which bee species visit lavender, particularly in western North America. The study represents one of the first attempts to compile a comprehensive list of bee species attracted to lavender in the region.

The primary goals of the study were to document bee diversity at the Mt. Nebo Botanical Farm and Distillery and to explore which bee species are drawn to the farm’s flagship crop, lavender. Utilizing meticulous sampling techniques, researchers targeted wild bees across 34 different plant species and various locations, using aerial nets to collect bees directly from flowers. Each data entry included details such as the location of bee collection, date of collection, and observed flower visitation.

Key findings from the study include the following:

  • Rich bee diversity: A total of 566 bee specimens were collected, representing 68 distinct species. Many of these bee species were distinct from each other, underscoring the farm’s status as a haven for diverse bee communities.
  • Lavender acts as a bee magnet: Among the numerous flower species at the farm, lavender emerged as a primary attractant, with 149 bees collected from cultivated lavender fields spanning 32 different species.
  • Prominence of pollinator-friendly farming practices: The study highlights the importance of agricultural lands, particularly those implementing pollinator-friendly farming practices like Young Living, in supporting diverse bee communities. These practices include diversifying crops, not using pesticides, land conservation, and providing space for nesting sites.
  • Conservation land as an oasis: Of the 68 bee species collected, 29 were found in the conservation area and 59 species in the cultivated farm area. These findings suggest that both areas play vital roles in maintaining diverse bee communities. Conservation land plots, designed to mimic natural habitats (lands undisturbed by machinery, exposed soil, abundance of native grasses, flowers, bushes, trees, dead trees, etc.), serve as nesting sites. Their proximity to cultivated farmland allows bees to forage throughout the farm.
  • Nectar versus pollen collection: Most bees collected on lavender were male specimens (103 male, 46 female). This data may indicate that lavender plays an important role as a nectar resource for bees on the farm and is not simply utilized for pollen collection.

“At Young Living, we’re trailblazers who continually push the boundaries of what’s possible,” states Jacob Young, Director of Business Development at Young Living and co-author of the study. “Our research has sparked interest from scientists worldwide, fostering potential collaborations. There’s still so much to learn and discover down the road, particularly regarding the pivotal role bees play in the quality of our essential oils.”

By providing valuable baseline data for future pollinator studies and conservation insights into bee behavior, Young Living propels the field toward a deeper understanding of bee biodiversity and preservation efforts involving agricultural landscapes. Through the harmonious coexistence of lavender and bees, Young Living exemplifies its dedication to environmental sustainability and biodiversity preservation.

Explore a video showcasing the various efforts taking place in Young Living’s lavender fields that foster bee diversity. Plus, stay connected with #YLEarthMonth on social media to discover ways that you can support the bees in your own backyard.

To learn more about Young Living’s Lavender essential oil and farms, visit www.youngliving.com/us/en/product/lavender-essential-oil.

About Young Living Essential Oils

Young Living Essential Oils, LC, based in Lehi, Utah, is the world leader in essential oils, offering the highest-quality oil-infused products available. Young Living takes its industry leadership seriously, setting the standard with its proprietary Seed to Seal® quality commitment. This guiding principle helps Young Living protect the planet and provide authentic products that its Brand Partners and Customers can feel confident using and sharing with friends and family. Young Living’s products—sourced from corporate-owned farms, partner farms, and other trusted suppliers—not only support a healthy lifestyle but also provide opportunities for customers to find a sense of purpose and whole-life wellness by aligning their work with the Young Living values and passions. For more information, visit YoungLiving.com, follow @youngliving on Instagram, or like us on Facebook.

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