Over the past two decades, scientists and beekeepers alike observed drastic declines in bee populations. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) offered through the USDA offers a promising mitigation strategy related to establishing more nesting and foraging habitat for bees.
Farmers and landowners who want to increase pollinator habitat while also improving water quality should consider the benefits of saturated riparian buffers enhanced with native wildflowers. Establishing pollinator habitat within riparian zones, where the agricultural value is lower and where the conservation and wildlife benefits are likely to be high can be a win-win.
Are you interested in taking a beekeeping class this winter? The Iowa Honey Producers Association offers classes throughout the state.
For small farms that grow a diversity of fruit and vegetables, pollinators can be essential for crop production. Even though much of Iowa is committed to producing corn and soybeans, a remarkably diverse community of bees persists in the landscape. We describe several approaches to conserving bees so that small farms can get the most out of the service they provide.