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Resources for Growers

Improving pollination and protecting pollinators in farming landscapes  

Pollination contracts and siting hives 

  • Evaluating honey bee colonies for pollination- (Oregon State University, 2011) In this publication, commercial growers who rent honey bees for pollination and beekeepers who provide pollination services will find information on honey bee colony strength evaluation, average number of colonies needed for pollination, basic honey bee biology in context of pollination, and pollination contracts.
  • Current honey bee and bumble bee stocking information (MSU, 2019) - 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 (Ontario)- 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. 

Information on minimizing pesticide risk

Planting to promote pollinators

Crop specific resources

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

Tree Fruit


Vegetable crops

Additional Resources

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