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Context & background

If the environment does not provide sufficient protein-rich pollen sources for building up honey bee colonies then pollination will be compromised and in some areas non-existent. Therefore yields of crops will be decreased and some pastures may lack beneficial legumes such as white clover.

Both farmers and beekeepers are facing decreased profitability. Farmers are concerned about an increasing insecurity of pollination for crops and mixed pastures. Beekeepers are concerned about the rising costs of pest and disease control as well as bee nutrition. Artificial protein supplements to replace the lack of floral resources are expensive and often inferior to diverse natural pollen sources. Pollination is becoming more expensive and beekeepers are unwilling to place bees on farms that are not “bee friendly”.

Farmers need information on suitable plants with protein-rich pollen that they can use on their farms. As well as being beneficial to bees, a number of the plants will offer other direct sustainability benefits to farmers including shelter, timber, forage, and carbon credits. The information on the best Bee Plants can be extended to Regional Councils and others such as life style block residents.

MPI Sustainable Farming FundSponsored by MPI's Sustainble Farming Fund and others