By HOLLY DRANKHAN
Capital News Service
LANSING – A hand-held vacuum seems an unlikely tool in a field ecologist’s kit. But sucking up bees from sunflowers was a necessary step in assessing how human energy needs may affect Michigan pollinators. Researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin recently published a study comparing the effects of two types of biofuel production on Michigan’s bee populations. Biofuels are fuels derived from renewable plant or animal sources that can reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The study compared two sources of biofuels: annual biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, and perennial biofuel crops, like prairie grass and switchgrass.