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Since 1986, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has provided millions of acres of vital habitat for honey bees and other pollinators. With abundant acres of legume-rich forage or diverse wildflower plantings, CRP lands offer hives a safe haven from the pressures of modern agriculture—supplying large-scale sources of pollen and nectar that keep bee colonies healthy, and generating millions of dollars’ worth of honey every year. These same CRP lands offer tremendous benefits to native bumble bees and other pollinators that require diverse wildflowers, shrubs, and safe nesting sites.

Reports from MAE studies that measure pollinator benefits are listed below. Click the title to view the report.

Project Reports and Articles




Seed Mix Experiments and
Analysis of Native Seed Supply
for the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (5 MB, PDF)

Jackson and Meissen


Past role and future outlook of the Conservation Reserve Program for supporting honey bees in the Great Plains (1 MB, PDF)

Otto, Zheng, Gallant, Iovanna, Carlson, Smart, and Hyberg


Using colony monitoring devices to evaluate the impacts of land use and nutritional value of forage on honey bee health (1 MB, PDF)

Smart, Otto, Cornman, and Iwanowicz


The influence of spatiotemporally decoupled land use on honey bee colony health and pollination service delivery (3 MB, PDF)

Smart, Otto, Carlson, and Roth


Final Report for Assessing the Supportive Value of CRP Cost-Share Mixes to Honey Bees and Native Bees and project enhancement Evaluating Honey Bee and Native Bee Floral Preferences and Uses of CRP Cost-Share Mixes (5 MB, PDF)



Assessing pollinator habitat services to optimize conservation programs (680 KB, PDF)

Iovanna, Ando, Swinton, Hellerstein, Kagan, Mushet, Otto, and Rewa


Using Publicly Available Data to Quantify Plant–Pollinator Interactions and Evaluate Conservation Seeding Mixes in the Northern Great Plains (593 KB, PDF)

Otto, O’Dell, Bryant, Euliss, Bush, and Smart


A Comparison of Honey Bee-Collected Pollen from Working Agricultural Lands Using Light Microscopy and ITS Metabarcoding (497 KB, PDF)

Smart, Cornman, Iwanowicz, McDermott-Kubeczko, Pettis, Spivak, and Otto


Why does bee health matter? The Science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it (348 KB, PDF)

Spivak, Browning, Goblirsch, Lee, Otto, Smart, and Wu-Smart


Evaluation of CRP contour buffer and filter strips as habitat for native bees and predatory ground beetles (1 MB, PDF)



Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains (2 MB, PDF)

Otto, Roth, Carlson, and Smart


Taxonomic characterization of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollen foraging based on non-overlapping paired-end sequencing of nuclear ribosomal loci (3 MB, PDF)

Cornman, Otto, Iwanowicz, and Pettis