Do you have a prairie or Conservation Reserve Program habitat next to your blueberry fields?
MSU research project to improve crop pollination seeks grower cooperators.
The Isaacs Lab at Michigan State University is starting a new project during summer 2013 that investigates how prairie habitat influences native pollinators and pollination services in adjacent pollinator-dependent crops like blueberries. We are interested in answering two questions:
- Does prairie habitat planted adjacent to blueberries increase native pollinators and pollination services in the crop?
- If pollinators are moving from the prairie habitat into neighboring crops, how far into the field do the pollinators move?
We anticipate the results of this study will determine the benefits of incorporating prairie habitat into the landscape and begin to identify how much prairie is needed to benefit neighboring crops.
What we need
- Blueberry fields immediately adjacent to a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or prairie habitat.
What we would do on your farm
- Count bees in your blueberry field during bloom and in the CRP/prairie.
- Collect and identify native bees using small, hand-held vacuums.
- Sampling would occur twice during blueberry bloom then once per month from June to August.
Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.