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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Research Project #429574

Research Project: North Dakota Pollinator Health and Pollination Services

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Project Number: 3060-21000-043-05-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 28, 2015
End Date: Dec 31, 2019

Objective:
(1) Assess how landscape attributes or crop production influence health or productivity of pollinators, (2) Understand how pollinators use floral resources in the area, and (3) Gather knowledge on the biology or ecology of pollinators in the area.

Approach:
Estimates of honey bee health and productivity may be available as historical data. However, assessment of existing data may suggest that new information is needed. New data on bee health and productivity could include beekeeper surveys or (voluntary) colony inspections with cooperating beekeepers. To evaluate relative benefits of pollination by bees, observations of bee foraging may be used, but the use of sentinel plants (varieties which require insect pollination to set seed) could provide another direct and efficient measure of pollination services. Assessments of how bees utilize local resources, particularly crop resources, would likely require samples collected from bees (either pollen from honey bee pollen traps or provisions of solitary bees) and some direct observations of bee foraging. Data from both of the first two objectives would be used to evaluate the regional needs of bees in North Dakota. Because other projects may be exploring similar questions, a need to modify goals and methods in order to avoid duplication of efforts is anticipated.