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Making space for bees

  • What's working?

    What's working?

    Given the recent decline in honey bee and native bee numbers, new studies are looking at the value of pollinator habitat on CRP lands. Franklin County, Nebraska, is one of four counties nationwide being studied by the Pollinator Partnership.

  • Farming for the bees

    Farming for the bees

    Franklin County farmer Roger Tupper interseeded native flowers and forbs, as well as alfalfa and clovers, on CRP to enable researchers to study the impacts on bee numbers and species.

  • Pollinator field day

    Pollinator field day

    At a field day on June 20 in Franklin, participants helped project managers gather bees from the several types of CRP plantings.

  • Collection team

    Collection team

    FSA employee Val Phelps and Kelsi Wehrman, a farm bill wildlife biologist, prepare the bees for identification and counting. The research involves a mix of agencies and organizations, as well as farmers.

  • More flowers, more bees

    More flowers, more bees

    The research is showing that a large mix of wildflowers sewn in the pollinator habitat is highly beneficial to native bees.

  • Honey bee heaven

    Honey bee heaven

    Thus far, honey bees have fared better on CRP that has been interseeded with alfalfa and clover.

  • Bee hive computer

    Computer in the hive

    Honey production is monitored remotely with computer placed in a hive on the habitat.

  • Home sweet home

    Home sweet home

    Researchers are looking at the nesting success of native bees in tube nests, which are one way for landowners to encourage native bee habitation. Habitat planting guides are available from the Pollinator Partnership.

  • Adding 'em up

    Adding 'em up

    Some fifteen species of native bees were collected in about ten minutes from the CRP pollinator habitat.

  • Making a difference

    Results at the Paul Pohlenz farm show that diverse and larger plantings attract more native bees, and that farmers can make a big difference in boosting pollinator populations.

    Video: Kelsi Wehrman talks ag & bees

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