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Grower Resources

Bee on an alfalfa flower

Protecting pollinators in farming landscapes 

Fungicides during bloom-a pollinator paradox- The effects of fungicides on pollinators, routes of exposure, and tips for protecting pollinators in the presence of fungicides. 

Conserving native bees on farmland- An introduction to native pollinators in crop lands in Michigan, how to help protect them, and ways to maximize pollination. 

Minimizing pesticide risk to bees in fruit crops- An overview of bees that pollinate fruit crops, how to minimize the effects of pesticides on pollinators in those crops, routes of exposure, and common pesticides and their effect on bees.  

Gardening for Pollinators: Choosing smart plants to support pollinators- Guidance on which plants to incorporate into pollinator plantings, how to consider bloom timeline when choosing plants, and other tips to help native pollinators. 

Effect of Tank-mix Pesticide Combinations on Bees- webinar with Reed Johnson

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides (Oregon State University)

Pollination contracts and siting hives 

Evaluating honey bee colonies for pollination- A resource for commercial beekeepers and growers to learn how to determine the number of colonies you will need for your crop, and how to evaluate the strength of the colonies for pollination contract. 

Current honey bee stocking information and an introduction to commercial bumble bees- A guide to finding the correct number of honey bee colonies needed per acre to pollinate specific crops, and an introduction to alternative native pollinators. 

Stocking rates and colony strength- Recommended stocking rates for crop pollination and how to consider colony strength when making pollination decisions. 

Example of pollination contracts and guidelines. Use these examples to draw up a contract with your beekeeper. 

Pollination for fruit crops 

Michigan Cherry Pollination - Information on how to improve pollination using Integrated Crop Pollination, how to support bees around your farm, and which pollinators visit and pollinate cherry crops. 

Michigan Blueberry Pollination - Information on pollination requirements for highbush blueberries in Michigan, how to use Integrated Crop Pollination to improve pollination services, and information on the different pollinators that visit and pollinate blueberries. 

Michigan Apple Pollination - Information on apple pollination needs and how to improve pollination of apples in Michigan using Integrated Crop Pollination. This document also provides an introduction to the pollinators who visit and pollinate apples and how to support them. 

A Pesticide Decision-Making Guide to Protect Pollinators in Fruit Orchards (Cornell University)

Pollinators in vegetable crops 

Participate in a citizen science program with squash bees - Learn about squash bees, cucurbit pollination, and take a survey as part of a project to better understand squash bees and how management practices on and around farms effect them. 

Pollination in the Agricultural Landscape - Best Management Practices for Crop Pollination. An overview of pollination, pollinators, and best practices for growing crops in northern climates. 

The pollination of cultivated plants: A compendium for practitioners - shares expert knowledge on all dimensions of crop pollination in both temperate and tropical zones. The focus in the first volume is on applied crop and system-specific pollination. The focus in the second volume is on management, study and research tools and techniques.

Maximizing honey bee pollination in pickling cucumbers - This fact sheet explains the importance of honey bees as pollinators of cucumbers, honey bee behavior in cucumber fields, how best to place and move rented hives around your fields to maximize pollination

Funding opportunities for establishing pollinator habitat

Check out a brief list of the programs where funding for habitat can be subsidized.

Recipes for cover crops

Downloadable recommendations for cover cropping after harvest.

The Integrated Crop Pollination Project

The Integrated Crop Pollination Project (ICP) is a a Coordinated Agricultural Project Funded by the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative