Improving forage for honey bees and native pollinators on Federal conservation lands

Science Center Objects

Since its inception in 1933, the U.S. Farm Bill has been one of the most influential federal policies for agriculture and food production.  Provisions within the Farm Bill have profound influence on global trade, nutrition programs, commodity crop programs, rural communities, and land conservation.  Northern Prairie’s research quantifies the impact on pollinator forage and health of USDA conservation programs provisioned through the Farm Bill.  We also are working with our USDA partners to evaluate conservation seeding mixes with potential to improve pollinator health in the Great Plains and upper Midwest, if included in programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program.  To address partner research needs, we have developed a novel technique using genetic sequencing to identify pollen collected from the bodies of foraging bees.  Our work is designed to inform national policy decisions and assist with conservation planning across multiple states in the central U.S.