The University of Wisconsin is conducting an assessment to determine practices currently being used in Wisconsin to enhance pollinators. They will use this information to direct further research and outreach efforts. Pollinators are defined as any animal that visits flowering plants and transfers pollen from flower to flower, thus aiding plant reproduction. Wisconsin based pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, flower flies, beetles, wasps and hummingbirds.
There are approximately 20,000 bee species in the world, 3,600 in the U.S. and 400 in Wisconsin. 46 species of North American bumble bee nest in colonies, as do some smaller bees, but over 90% of bee species are solitary (do not live in colonies) and wild (not managed by humans). Only a few bee species have been domesticated for agricultural use. These managed bee species include the most familiar crop pollinator in North America, the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), several bumble bee species often used in greenhouse pollination, and orchard and leafcutter bees used in fruit crops. Global estimates show honey bees and wild bees each contribute approximately $1200 per acre in pollination services to pollinator-dependent crops, on average. Crop visitation rate increases when more pollinator species are present, which can translate into higher fruit set and crop yield.
In Wisconsin, pollinator-dependent crops account for over $55 million in annual production, but at the same time Wisconsin has been at risk for honeybee colony loss. In April of 2016, Wisconsin produced the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Plan which helps guide plans and practices for Wisconsin landscapes.
The University of Wisconsin Madison is asking you to provide information into this assessment which should take about 20 to 30 minutes. Link to the assessment can be found at: uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/.