Michigan beekeepers and growers featured in Honey Bee Health Coalition’s Bee Integrated Demonstration Project

Videos showcase strong relationships and communication between Michigan growers and commercial beekeepers to support honey bee health and pollination.

Photo of videographers conducting an interview in an apple orchard.
A Michigan grower shares examples of working with a commercial beekeeper to promote bee health and pollination. Photo by Ana Heck, MSU Extension.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition’s Bee Integrated Demonstration Project features Michigan beekeepers and growers in videos that showcase collaboration. The videos capture stories of beekeepers and growers who implement practices in their fields and hives to improve honey bee health and crop pollination.

The Bee Integrated Demonstration Project promotes implementing colony management, forage installation and crop pest control practices that support honey bee health. The videos showcase stories of beekeepers, growers and Michigan State University Extension educators who share strategies that can make a difference in honey bee health and crop pollination. This work is important to Michigan’s Managed Pollinator Protection Plan, which encourages communication strategies to reduce pesticide risk to managed bees in Michigan. As part of the state plan, MSU creates educational materials for growers, pesticide applicators, home gardeners and the public to support managed pollinator health.

Linking Michigan Farmers and Beekeepers

Farmers and beekeepers in Michigan describe how Bee Integrated brought them together to team up on honey bee health, opening lines of communication and setting the stage for collaboration for better crops and healthier honey bees.

Bee Integrated: Bees and Pesticides

Bee health depends on good hive management, varroa control, protection from pesticides, and good forage. In this Bee Integrated video, farmer Mike Van Agtmael describes how integrated pest management and good communication with his beekeeper, Jim Hilton, keeps bees healthy and pollination productive. Beekeeper Jamie Ostrowski describes a "perfect storm" that harmed some of her bees—and how she and Matt Jansen of Green Thumb Blueberries collaborate to protect her hives.

Blooms are a Boost for Bees

Michigan State University Apiculture Extension Educator Ana Heck explains how good forage helps honey bees deal with other stressors.

Creating Bee Forage in Michigan

When bees are facing diseases and pesticide exposure, good pollen and nectar sources are vital in helping them survive. Michigan State University Extension's Ana Heck, farmer Mike Van Agtmael, and Bee Informed Partnership field specialist Dan Wyns describe the importance of pollinator habitat in this Bee Integrated video.

Maximizing Pollination in Michigan

Beekeeper Jim Hilton of Hilton Honey Farm and farmer Mike Van Agtmael describe how they have been keeping honey bee hives in bigger groups to encourage better pollination.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition offers Best Management Practices guides. It recently published "Apple Best Management Practices" to promote pollinator stewardship.

Thank you to the Honey Bee Health Coalition for contributing language for this article.

Thank you to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for securing funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Michigan State University to implement strategies in the Michigan Managed Pollinator Protection Plan.

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