Our long-term goal is to develop and deliver context-specific Integrated Crop Pollination (ICP) recommendations on how to most effectively harness the potential of native bees for crop pollination. We define ICP as: the combined use of multiple pollinator species, habitat augmentation, and crop management practices to provide reliable and economical pollination of crops. This approach is analogous to Integrated Pest Management in that we aim to provide decision-support tools to reduce risk and improve returns through the use of multiple tactics tailored to specific crops and situations. By developing context-specific ICP programs, this project will improve sustainability of U.S. specialty crops and thereby help ensure the continued ability of growers to reap profitable returns from their investments in land, plants, and other production inputs.
1. Identify economically-valuable pollinators and the factors affecting their abundance.
2. Develop habitat management practices to improve crop pollination.
3. Determine performance of alternative managed bees as specialty crop pollinators.
4. Demonstrate and deliver ICP practices for specialty crops.
5. Determine optimal methods for ICP information delivery and measure ICP adoption.
6. Economics and modeling of pollination ecosystem services.
This project is supported by USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant (#2012-51181-20105).