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Dispatch: The Buzz on Native Pollinators

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By Kelly Garbach - Posted on 24 January 2011

Mark and I have been collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Michigan State, Rutgers, UC Berkeley, Penn and Xerces Society on a USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant. We are gearing up to submit the 5-year project proposal for review this week. Our SCRI research will evaluate the role of native pollinators in providing important ecosystem services in specialty crops including almonds, cherries, blueberries, and cucurbits. The most exciting part of the project has been developing a farmer survey, which will be implemented in specialty crop hot spots in CA, MI, and Pennsylvania. The survey will link farmer decision-making on pollinator management and ecological outcomes for levels of pollination in three regions of the U.S. Check out more on our project website, http://www.icpbees.org/

Grist agrees that native pollinators are a hot topic and explores declines in managed honey bees: http://www.grist.org/article/food-2011-01-04-bumblebees-join-the-die-off