Managed and native pollinators are important to agriculture, they work on farms pollinating our fruit and vegetables crops. They also provide honey and other bee-related products, adding to Vermont’s agricultural diversity. Nationally and globally, pollinators--such as bees, butterflies and other insects and small mammals, are under stress, and in some cases, in decline. In 2016, the Vermont legislature passed a bill (Act 83) creating a Pollinator Protection Committee. On this Committee, beekeepers, ecologists, government officials, researchers and the farming community are working together to conserve & improve pollinator health in Vermont.
Agricultural Crops Best Management Practices
Field Corn and Soybean:
Field corn and soybeans are grown on more acres than any other crop in the U.S. and are two of the most widely farmed crops throughout North America. Although honey bees are not essential to corn production, they are commonly found foraging in corn fields, especially in landscapes where other foraging sources are limited. Honey bees are not essential to soybean production but they commonly visit soybean fields for forage and studies show that pollination results in increased soybean yields.
The practices used in corn and Soybean farming can affect honey bee health.
The following BMP guides provide recommendations to conserve and promote pollinator health for farmers to consider throughout the corn and soybean growing seasons.
Apples are an important pollinator-dependent crop grown for commercial production on 295,000 acres in the United States. Pollinator Best Management Practices for Apples provides guidance for U.S. growers and regulators on pollinator protection in orchards.