Promoting Pollinators on Maryland's Working Landscapes

2005 Annual Report for ONE05-045

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,535.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Project Leader:
Annette Meredith
University of Maryland

Promoting Pollinators on Maryland's Working Landscapes


The proposed project addresses native pollinator populations on 12 CSA farms including ten from across the state of Maryland, one in Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia. The purpose of the project is to assess the current status of native bees in agroecosystems and provide baseline data so that research on declines and recovery efforts have benchmarks for comparison. Additionally, the research will investigate adjacent habitat to agricultural fields and its influence on pollinator presence within vegetable and cucurbit plots. The results will provide information that farmers can use to guide the management of adjacent lands for pollinator foraging and nesting habitat thereby improving pollination visitation and crop productivity.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Land use change, introductions of nonnatives and misuse of pesticides will continue to threaten native pollinators in the short term. Properly designed and managed, pollinator recovery projects could invite participation from agricultural producers through proper incentive schemes that would help to reduce further impact on pollinator species and likewise augment population growth where appropriate. Before decline can be assessed and restoration efforts can be evaluated as successes or failures, however, an understanding of the present status of native pollinator populations is required. The proposed project will contribute to that understanding by way of measuring native pollinator diversity on several CSA farms in and around the state of Maryland.


During the summer of 2005, we surveyed 12 farm sites in June, July and August and collected over 3200 wild bees using painted fluorescent pan traps. We surveyed habitats including cucurbit crops, other vegetable crops and cut flowers, shrubs, woodlines, meadows and grass lawns. Species diversity analyses are incomplete at time of print, however, overall wild bee abundance measures indicate a temporal shift in foraging from woodline flowers to cucurbit crops as the season progresses. Species identifications of collected wild bees are underway to determine differences in diversity among habitats on farms.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The results of the research project will provide information for farmers and the public through the proposed outreach channels. In the summer of 2005 I presented the project’s objectives at three symposia/conferences as well as to the public at two of my farm study sites. A local boy scout troop has been involved in learning about wild bees and helping to create bee boxes for farms.


Drew & Joan Norman

One Straw Farm
Jack & Beckie Gurley

Calvert's Gift
Pam Stegall

Calvert Farm
Allan Balliett

Fresh & Local
Andy Andrews

Colchester Farm
Michael Klein

Good Fortune Farm
Brett Grohsgal

Even' Star Farm
Jerry & Joan Riser

Avian Mead Organics
Jill Ahern

Cromwell Valley CSA
Matthew Steiman

Fulton Farm
Margaret Gray

Eating with the Seasons
Marianne Pettis

Howard Co. Conservancy