Science and Products
The influence of spatiotemporally decoupled land use on honey bee colony health and pollination service delivery
Societal dependence on insects for pollination of agricultural crops has risen amidst concerns over pollinator declines. Habitat loss and lack of forage have been implicated in the decline of both managed and native pollinators. Land use changes in the Northern Great Plains of the US, a region supporting over 1 million honey bee colonies...Smart, Matthew; Otto, Clint R. V.; Carlson, Benjamin; Roth, Cali
Past role and future outlook of the Conservation Reserve Program for supporting honey bees in the Great Plains
Human dependence on insect pollinators continues to grow even as pollinators face global declines. The Northern Great Plains (NGP), a region often referred to as America’s last honey bee (Apis mellifera) refuge, has undergone rapid land-cover change due to cropland expansion and weakened land conservation programs. We conducted a trend analysis...Otto, Clint R. V.; Zheng, Haochi; Gallant, Alisa L.; Iovanna, Rich; Carlson, Benjamin L.; Smart, Matthew; Hyberg, Skip
Using colony monitoring devices to evaluate the impacts of land use and nutritional value of forage on honey bee health
Colony monitoring devices used to track and assess the health status of honey bees are becoming more widely available and used by both beekeepers and researchers. These devices monitor parameters relevant to colony health at frequent intervals, often approximating real time. The fine-scale record of hive condition can be further related to static...Smart, Matthew; Otto, Clint R. V.; Cornman, Robert S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.
Why does bee health matter? The science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it
A colony of honey bees is an amazing organism when it is healthy; it is a superorganism in many senses of the word. As with any organism, maintaining a state of health requires cohesiveness and interplay among cells and tissues and, in the case of a honey bee colony, the bees themselves. The individual bees that make up a honey bee colony deliver...Spivak, Marla S; Browning, Zac; Goblirsch, Mike; Lee, Katie; Otto, Clint R. V.; Smart, Matthew; Wu-Smart, Judy
Using publicly available data to quantify plant–pollinator interactions and evaluate conservation seeding mixes in the Northern Great Plains
Concern over declining pollinators has led to multiple conservation initiatives for improving forage for bees in agroecosystems. Using data available through the Pollinator Library (npwrc.usgs.gov/pollinator/), we summarize plant–pollinator interaction data collected from 2012–2015 on lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private...Otto, Clint R. V.; O'Dell, Samuel; Bryant, R. B.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Bush, Rachel; Smart, Matthew
A comparison of honey bee-collected pollen from working agricultural lands using light microscopy and ITS metabarcoding
Taxonomic identification of pollen has historically been accomplished via light microscopy but requires specialized knowledge and reference collections, particularly when identification to lower taxonomic levels is necessary. Recently, next-generation sequencing technology has been used as a cost-effective alternative for identifying bee-collected...Smart, Matthew; Cornman, Robert S.; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.; McDermott-Kubeczko, Margaret; Pettis, Jeff S; Spivak, Marla S; Otto, Clint R. V.
Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains
Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for...Otto, Clint R. V.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew
Land use in the Northern Great Plains region of the U.S. influences the survival and productivity of honey bee colonies
The Northern Great Plains region of the US annually hosts a large portion of commercially managed U.S. honey bee colonies each summer. Changing land use patterns over the last several decades have contributed to declines in the availability of bee forage across the region, and the future sustainability of the region to support honey bee colonies...Smart, Matthew; Pettis, Jeff S.; Euliss, Ned H. Jr.; Spivak, Marla S.