Utah is ‘the Beehive State’, but not because it’s the best place for bees. In fact, like much of the West, there is less and less water to support the plants bees must have, and the acreage of drought-stricken lands is increasing.
What if drought-tolerant plants- which need no irrigation- could help rehabilitate those lands and establish bee pastures for honey bees and native bees?
That dream solution has inspired Project Apis m. to fund two research projects in Utah- both featured in this short film.
As these swaths of land dry up drought tolerant plants will not only provide forage for bees and other animals, but also keep the soil in place and reclaim areas taken over by invasive plants.
BFollow along with USDA researchers in the film as they take you into the field and lab. The first project you will hear about is, “Benefits for Bee Health and Diversity from Drought-Tolerant Plantings (Bee Pasture) for Drought-Stricken Areas in the West” a collaboration between Dr. Kevin Jensen and Dr. Diana Cox Foster to establish and study impressively tolerant plants and their ability to provide forage for bees in Nephi, Utah.
The second project in the film is, “Ensuring Healthy Pollinators for Crop Production: Defining Forage Needs of Bees, Through Examination of Interactions of Bee Species and Pollen Use” to gain greater insight into how honey bees and native bees interact in the Intermountain West- an area where many are asking whether managed bees should be allowed onto public lands. Read more about this project in our article,”The Bee-g Questions, How Do Honey Bees and Native Bees Interact?”
Understanding the foraging needs of bees and managed bee/wild bee interactions are key to designing impactful forage and developing land management policies.
PAm takes pride in funding research to fill in theses knowledge gaps and help move the needle towards tangible solutions for beekeepers and beyond. These projects are just starting to show what is possible, and we hope you enjoy being transported to the field!