Evaluation of Michigan Native Plants and 'Bee Keeper Picks' for Pollinators in Michigan

Logan Rowe
Michigan State University
Logan is a Masters student at Michigan State University studying Entomology. He is interested in conservation and restoration, pollination ecology, and sustainable agriculture. Currently, Logan is working on a project with Dr. Doug Landis and Dr. Rufus Isaacs to identify insectary plants for use in the development of beneficial insect floral enhancements and pollinator conservation programs.

Land use intensification in many parts of the North Central region has reduced the availability and diversity of the floral resources required by crop pollinators to enhance longevity and reproduction, and to fuel pollination activities. By incorporating floral resource enhancements into the agricultural landscape, land-owners can increase the yield of high value specialty crops, while buffering the effects of land-use intensification on both native bee and honeybee populations (Blaauw & Isaacs 2014). This project explores the relative attractiveness of insectary plants that thrive on coarse-textured soils, with the goal of identifying plants that show the greatest potential for increasing pollination services and native bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes. Here, we report on findings from the 2015 field season to assess pollinator abundance and attractiveness to floral resources.

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