Woman at bee hive
Kurt Stepnitz / MSU Communications and Brand Strategy

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in agriculture, but their numbers have been on the decline for decades. A new initiative started at Michigan State University is bringing together the resources across the state to try and help boost their populations. Current State talks to Meghan Milbrath, who coordinates the Michigan Pollinator Initiative, about her work. 

April Van Buren/WKAR

If you’re planning your summer vacation, you’re probably going to be booking a hotel or summer cottage soon. And so will some of the winged visitors to the Horticultural Demonstration Gardens here on the MSU campus. But, lucky for them, the bees at MSU’s “bee hotels” won’t be needing reservations.

Detroit's honey bees offer lesson in working together

Aug 5, 2014
Hannah Meiklejohn

In urban areas, the importance of honey bees to a city’s neighborhoods and communities often gets overlooked. But in Detroit, honey bees are crucial to the city’s rebirth, says Joan Mandell. Mandell operates Green Toe Gardens, which has more than 100 beehives in community gardens, schools and yards all across the Detroit metropolitan area. Not only do bees help pollinate many plant species in Detroit, says Mandell, but their collective behavior could also serve as an example of how to work together for a common good.

Warm weather has promoted fruit trees in Michigan to bloom four or five weeks ahead of schedule.  That means that bees need to be here early, too, but most of the bees that pollinate orchards in Michigan are still wintering in Florida or are busy pollinating crops in California.