Different management strategies can be used across landscapes, including public and private lands, working lands, and natural areas, to improve conditions for pollinators and to maintain pollination function in crops and wild plants. Strategies range from site-specific management that could be performed by private landowners, to landscape and regional actions that would require coordination by county, state, or regional authorities and nongovernmental organizations. Although management actions can be guided by a body of existing scientific knowledge, all are experimental; therefore, concurrent monitoring of pollinator status and of pollination function is needed (Chapter 5) to determine the efficacy of different strategies and to adapt measures to provide even better performance (Kremen et al., 1993; Margoluis and Salafsky, 1998; Walters and Holling, 1990).
This chapter presents various actions that could be taken to maintain commercial pollinators, wild pollinator species and communities, and pollination function. The committee suggests the following as priorities.
Develop and refine both traditional and molecular methods for identifying bees with economically desirable traits for inclusion in honey bee breeding programs.
Select model populations of honey bees with economically desirable traits for adoption by the beekeeping industry.
Develop educational materials and programs to enable private-sector queen producers to develop and maintain pest, parasite, and pathogen resistant stocks of honey bees and to serve as reliable sources of quality production queens that produce colonies expressing useful levels of economically important traits.
Develop sustainable methods for ensuring that Africanized bees do not degrade the commercial value of existing stocks of honey bees.
Develop resistance management programs to mitigate the adverse effects of pesticide and antibiotic resistance in honey bee pest, parasite, and pathogen populations.
Develop methods for the preservation of honey bee germplasm.
Other Commercial Species
Identify commercially viable solutions to the problem of chalkbrood in the alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata.