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
- Pollinator Protection for Pesticide Applicators online course: Upon course completion, certified pesticide applicators in Michigan can request 1 credit (1A, 1B, 1C, 7A, Commercial Core or Private Core).
- Reducing pesticide risk to bees during fruit crop bloom
- Michigan beekeepers and growers featured in Honey Bee Health Coalition’s Bee Integrated Demonstration Project - series of short videos
- 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.
- 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.
- Effect of Tank-mix Pesticide Combinations on Bees- webinar with Reed Johnson
- How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides (Oregon State University)
- A Pesticide Decision-Making Guide to Protect Pollinators in Fruit Orchards (Cornell University)
Planting to promote pollinators
- Pollinator supportive trees and shrubs for farm and orchard windbreaks
- 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.
- Using Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation (USDA/NRCS)
- Check out a brief list of the programs where funding for habitat can be subsidized.
- Downloadable recommendations for cover cropping after harvest.
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.
- Apple Best Management Practices from the Honey Bee Health Coalition
- 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.
- Why Tree Fruit Growers Should Implement a Pollinator Stewardship Plan
- 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.
- 2021 MSU Webinar - Pollinator Stewardship in Orchards (Video) - Approx 1 hour - Statewide Spring Tree Fruit Webinar Series
- MSU Fact Sheet - Keep bee safety in mind during orchard bloom
- 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.
- Blueberry Pollination Stewardship Guide
- 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
- Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide
- Vegetable pesticide series: Should I use it during bloom?
- 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