Michigan Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide

MSU ExtensionPollination

Pollinator stewardship guide for vegetable growers

Ana HeckMichigan State University Extension – April 16, 2021

Growers, beekeepers and MSU Extension provided input on a vegetable pollinator stewardship guide to protect and support managed pollinators.

Honey bee pollinating a melon blossom. Photo by Dan Wyns.

The Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide, https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/vegetable-pollinator-stewardship-guide ,  was developed as part of a strategy to reduce pollinator exposure to pesticides identified in the Michigan Managed Pollinator Protection Plan, https://pollinators.msu.edu/programs/protection-plan/  .

Growers are in a unique position to help pollinators because of the amount of land they manage. They can make a big difference by reducing or mitigating the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators and increasing flowering plants on their land. The Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide provides helpful information on how growers can protect managed pollinators from pesticide poisoning and support pollinator health.

The Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide provides key recommendations to vegetable growers for protecting pollinators and their investment in pollination:

  • Use integrated pest management strategies to reduce pesticide exposure to bees.
  • Minimize the use of insecticides and fungicides during bloom.
  • Support bee health by establishing bee foraging plantings on your farm.
  • Learn about bees and share what you know.
  • Communicate with your beekeeper about bee health and pesticides.

Michigan growers, beekeepers, Michigan State University Extension educators and specialists and others contributed to the recommendations in the guide. The Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide follows the Blueberry Pollinator Stewardship Guide, which provided some of the initial content.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development secured partial funding for Ana Heck to take the lead on action items in the Michigan Managed Pollinator Protection Plan, including the development of pollinator stewardship guides. Growers can find detailed recommendations about how to help and support pollinators in the Vegetable Pollinator Stewardship Guide.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).