Many people view bees are pests, but they play a critical role in food production. In fact, 1 in 3 bites of food are thanks to bees and their pollination. Several of Michigan’s most popular crops including apples, cherries, blueberries, and cucumbers are dependent on the pollination that bees provide.
Why are bees so important? Pollen grains have no way to travel by themselves, so we rely on bees to travel great distances to pollinate crops and ensure crop diversity, but pesticides, climate change, habitat loss, and disease are eradicating bee colonies at alarming rates.
Pollinator loss is a threat to both food security, but also our economy. Over $14 billion of U.S. agricultural GDP is dependent on bee pollination, and more than 20% of pollination comes from wild bees.
- Increasing habitats for pollinators through partnerships with public and private organizations
- Promoting more responsible use of pesticides for the specific purpose of protecting pollinator health.
- Increase public awareness of the importance of bees, current risks to bee populations, and ways to help protect bees.
Resources & Analysis: .
- About Colony Collapse Disorder by Michigan State University
- Efforts by Michigan State University Researchers to Protect Bees
- Why Michigan needs a State Pollinator Protection Plan by Michigan State University
- Draft Pollinator Protect Plan by Michigan State University
- Pollinator Habitat Programs led by Department of Natural Resources