USGS Pollinator Research and Monitoring
The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, located in the Northern Great Plains state of North Dakota highlights their current and ongoing research on land use and pollinator health.
This part of the country represents critical summer forage habitat for commercial beekeepers and their honey bees. Colonies located here in the summer produce honey and go on to pollinate many crops throughout the country, particularly almonds in the Central Valley of California. Researchers at Northern Prairie are studying how diversity and abundance of pollen (protein) resources differ with land use and result in varying outcomes for honey bee colonies. This research fits within the Presidential Memorandum on pollinators and the subsequent "National Strategy to promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators" created by the Pollinator Health Task Force. USGS scientists are measuring colony health, productivity, and survival of colonies in varying landscapes, and collaborating with the USDA to evaluate conservation program lands for their contribution to the honey bee diet.
This research will be useful in equipping land managers and policy makers with the best-available science to improve forage and habitat for pollinators.