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Blooms for Mason Bees
With support from SARE, the Osmia Bee Company in Ohio is designing a seed mix to support springtime pollinators — particularly mason bees. They developed a guide with the intention that the information could be used as a starting point and adapted for other field trials. This project leverages the rich collaborative network maintained by […]
Generating Income from Pollinator Habitat on an Urban Farm
Mark Brannen of Benson Bounty in Omaha, Neb., used a SARE Farmer Rancher grant to establish native plant habitat on his 0.75-acre urban farm and assess what revenue stream he could get by selling cut flowers.
Improving Honeybee Queen Quality and Diversity in Ohio
Hongmei Li-Byarlay is working to improve the quality and quantity of queen bee production in Ohio.
Overwintering Bees for Increased Apiary Sustainability
Our $20-billion-a-year crop industry relies on insect pollination, but diseases, pests, and colony collapse disorder are knocking out 30 percent of beekeepers’ colonies every growing season. There are as many as 125,000 beekeepers in the country. And while 2.77 million honey-producing colonies generated 161.8 million pounds of raw honey in 2016, the annual value of […]
Maximizing Pollinator Protection and Natural Pest Suppression in Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Crops
Eric Middleton knows that beneficial insects can provide ecosystem services to agriculture, ranging from pollination to pest suppression. As a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Middleton received a $12,000 NCR-SARE Graduate Student grant to compare how floral plantings in the margins of conventionally managed potato fields affect pollinator and predator abundance and richness, as […]
Developing a Method to Capture and Authenticate Single Varietal Honey on Diverse Landscapes
Between April and May the apple orchards and fields at Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Champaign, Illinois boast plenty of blossoms for hungry pollinators. Curtis is part of an Illinois centennial farm, founded in 1873, offering apples, pumpkins, honey, and a variety of agritourism adventures. All fun aside, they’re quite serious about sustaining their […]
Missouri Beekeeper Uses Horizontal Hives and Local Bees for Increased Sustainability
With SARE support, Leo Sharashkin has been able to share information about starting an apiary with wild local bee stock, using bee-friendly, do-it-yourself hive models, and simple, accessible management techniques.
Beekeepers are stewards of an essential resource; the plants that bees pollinate constitute more than 30 percent of the food we eat and the beverages we drink. While the role of alternative pollinators is vital, bees continue to provide an important service to agriculture in our region. From research projects about Colony Collapse Disorder, to educational programs around beekeeping, to innovative hive designs, NCR-SARE has funded a wide variety of grants to help beekeepers.
Honeybee losses compounded with rising rental rates for pollination are a concern for many producers. Not only are growers looking for alternative pollinators to improve crop security, but they also want to learn how to manage on-farm habitats for native bees and other pollinators. NCR-SARE has supported researchers, educators, and producers who are researching, rearing, and managing species that provide pollination alternatives to the declining honey bee.
Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin Online Identification Guide
The Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin online guide is designed to help users identify wild bees commonly found in Wisconsin in the spring and early summer by their color, shape, size, and habitat. Users can learn to distinguish among different types of bees and learn about the important roles they play in nature and agriculture.