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Resources and Outreach

Pollinators are animals (primarily insect, but sometimes avian or mammalian) that fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds. Humans and other animals rely on pollinators to produce nuts and fruits that are essential components of a healthy diet. Meanwhile, the majority of flowering plant species found world-wide require animal-mediated pollination to make the seeds that will become the next generation of plants.

World-wide, pollinator populations are shrinking and several factors are contributing to this disturbing global trend.

Varroa mite (on adult bee): Acari: Apis mellifera - Image by Maryann Frazier

Due to their important role in agriculture and well-documented, ongoing losses, a great deal of research has focused on characterizing and mitigating challenges to honey bee health. Using honey bees as a model species, this article summarizes biotic and abiotic stressors of pollinators including: exposure to parasites and pesticides, poor nutrition, habitat destruction and climate change.

Habitat destruction along with chemical use are major contributors to ongoing declines in pollinator populations. You can help reverse this troubling trend by planting a pollinator garden and limiting chemical use on your property.

If you’re just getting started with beekeeping or you’re a beekeeping expert, check out these online resources to get up-to-date information on honey bee husbandry and to participate in an ongoing national survey!

Penn State and Centre County offer unique, hands-on opportunities to learn about pollinators and the fascinating lives of insects. See what’s happening in your neighborhood!

In 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum to conserve pollinators. Learn more about pollinators and conservation programs from these organizations.

Project Goal: Evaluate native plant species and their cultivars for their attractiveness to pollinators and their suitability for homeowner and agricultural use.