Honey Bees and Native Pollinators
Pollinators deliver many ecosystem services, including provisioning biodiversity, supporting ecosystem functions and pollinating agricultural crops. Recent declines in pollinator abundance over past decades are concerning and there has been considerable discussion among congressional, federal, state, university, nonprofit, and private sectors on causal factors and potential solutions. While many factors are likely involved, the focus of the pollinator research at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is habitat. Our work is designed to improve the effectiveness of conservation restoration programs and projects by identifying specific plant species, based on their demonstrated importance to honey bees and native pollinators, that can be considered for restoration seed mixes. To facilitate rapid dissemination of our research to land managers and policy makers, we established a pollinator library where known relations between specific pollinators and the plants at specific geographic areas can be easily accessed and used to inform seed mixes and planting recommendations.
- An assessment of the native invertebrate pollinator community and the plants they use in native prairie and restored grasslands of the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern North Dakota
- Pollination webs to guide management of rare and invasive species in a changing climate
- Understanding the linkage between floral resources and honey bee health and productivity on US Department of Agriculture conservation lands