CAES: Pollinator Information

Pollinator Information


3rd Annual Creating and Improving Pollinator Habitat


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

(Snow date:  Thursday, March 1, 2018)

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Jones Auditorium 
123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT  06511

INFORMATION Program Flyer (PDF Format)

SCHEDULE of Events (PDF Format)

Follow this link to REGISTER (PDF Format)

Please Note:
Download and save the blank form first, then fill out, and resave.  Then you can email the completed form to OR print and mail to:  Attention:  Tracy Zarrillo, CAES, 123 Huntington Street, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504

The health and diversity of pollinators has in recent years become a concern on the local, state, national and international levels.  Pollinators are essential to human nutrition and to the survival of natural ecosystems – it has been estimated that 75% of human food crops need animal pollination to produce their full yield potential (Klein et al. 2007) and that 87% of flowering plants in natural systems are pollinated by animals (Ollerton et al. 2011).

Many kinds of animals are pollinators, including hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies and wasps as well as bees, but this website focuses mainly on bees because they are the most important pollinators of crops in our state, and they are also the focus of recent concerns.

The health of honey bees is important to beekeepers for production of honey and wax and to farmers and gardeners for their pollination services. Honey bees have been under serious stress in Connecticut since the arrival of parasitic mites in the state in the late 1980s, but other factors, such as viruses and other pathogens, exposure to pesticides, and the decrease in open flowering meadows for bee forage, may also be contributing to the colony losses experienced by beekeepers.

Current records of bees collected in the state include 348 other species of bees in addition to honey bees. These include 16 species of bumble bees and hundreds of species in other genera less familiar to the general public.  Many species of bumble bees and other bees are important pollinators of crop plants, and most bees in all families are pollinators of native plants (although there are some bee species in several families that live as parasites in the nests of other bees).  

Important losses in species diversity of bumble bees have been documented here in Connecticut, across North America, and around the world. In Connecticut, two bumble bee species are considered likely to have been extirpated from the state and another is considered threatened, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Because other species of bees have not been as intensively monitored, their current status is unknown.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has responsibility for the state honey bee registration and inspection program (link to Beekeeper Information and Registration here: and also has active research and public information programs on plants used as sources of nectar and pollen by bees, pollination of crop plants such as pumpkin and winter squash, routes and levels of exposure of bees to pesticides, and the diversity of bees in Connecticut.

A new law concerning pollinator health was enacted by the state of Connecticut in the 2016 legislative session.  This Public Act (16-17) or does the following:

  1. Puts some restrictions on the neonicotinoids insecticides that are most highly toxic to bees
  2. Creates a Pollinator Advisory Committee from the staff of the Experiment Station
  3. Requires a study of the Varroa mite attacking honey bees and an evaluation of the possibilities of breeding bees resistant to the mites
  4. Requires the Experiment Station to create a citizen’s guide to model pollinator habitat
  5. Promotes establishment of pollinator habitat by various state agencies and by utilities
  6. Sets qualifications for the state apiary inspector

Pursuant to Section 5 of Public Act No. 16-17 “An Act Concerning Pollinator Health” the following individuals have been appointed to a “Pollinator Advisory Committee”.


Dr. Richard Cowles (CAES)

Mr. Mark Creighton, State Beekeeper (CAES)

Mr. Nelson DeBarros (DEEP)

Dr. Kirby Stafford III, State Entomologist (CAES)

Dr. Kimberly Stoner (CAES)

Best Management Practices for Farmers Using Seeds Treated With Neonicotinoid
, Dr. Kimberly Stoner (PDF Format) 

Managing the Varroa Mite for Honey Bees in Connecticut Report by the State Entomologist to the General Assembly (PDF Format)


Ground Nesting Bees (PDF Format)

{Bumblebee closeup}

Materials from the Conference, Successfully Establishing Plants for Pollinators

Planting Pollinator Habitat-- Dr. Cathy Neal, University of New Hampshire (PDF Format)
Wildflowers for New England Meadows and Pollinator Plantings-- Dr. Cathy Neal, University of New Hampshire (PDF Format)
Native Perennials by Competitive Level-- Larry Weaner (PDF Format)
Establishing Pollinator Plantings-- Virginia Keith, Blueberry Hill Organic Farm (PDF Format)
Establishing Pollinator Plantings Organically Handout-- Virginia Keith, Blueberry Hill Organic Farm (PDF Format)
Estimating Costs of Pollinator Plantings-- Dr. Aaron Hoshide, University of Maine & Dr. Cathy Neal, University of New Hampshire (PDF Format)
Bee Pasture Budget, UNH Example--Dr. Aaron Hoshide, University of Maine (Excel Format)
Detailed Bee Pasture Budget, UNH Example--Dr. Aaron Hoshide, University of Maine (Excel Format)
Questions for Estimating Cost of Pollinator Pasture-- Dr. Aaron Hoshide, University of Maine & Dr. Cathy Neal, University of New Hampshire (PDF Format)

Materials from the Conference, Creating and Improving Habitat for Pollinators, 2017

Eric Venturini – Presentation: Pollination Reservoirs Support Wild Bees and Wild Bees Support Growers: Examples from Maine Wild Blueberry  (PDF Format)
Eric Venturini and others – Fact sheet: Enhancing Wild Bees for Crop Pollination – University of Maine (PDF Format)
Virginia Keith – Presentation: Establishing Pollinator Plantings Organically (PDF Format)
Virginia Keith – Handout: Establishing Pollinator Plantings Organically (PDF Format)
Kim Stoner – Presentation: Protection Pollinator Habitat from Pesticides (PDF Format)
Aaron Hoshide – Presentation: Costs to Create & Maintain Your Pollination Reservoir (PDF Format)
Emily May – Links to Resources for Pollinator Habitat on Farmland

Xerces Habitat Assessment Guide for Farms and Agricultural Landscapes:

Xerces Northeast pollinator plant list:

Xerces New England pollinator habitat installation guide:

Ernst Conservation Seed pollinator mixes (although many of their seed ecotypes are from PA, so if you have CT seed sources you prefer, feel free to swap!):

The Integrated Crop Pollination Project: (our resources page can be found here).

Pollinator Information and Sources of Funding for Pollinator Habitat from the Connecticut Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service:


General information on pollinators and the value of pollination:


Cost share programs that provide funding toward pollinator habitat:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program:     

Conservation Stewardship Program:


Links to Publications of Jarrod Fowler, Xerces

Native Trees and Shrubs for Pollinator Conservation in New England:

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects:

Station Technical Publications

Stoner, K.A. 2016. Current Pesticide Risk Assessment Protocols Do Not Adequately Address Differences Between Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and Bumble Bees (Bombus spp.). Front. Environ. Sci. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00079


Stoner, K. A., & Eitzer, B. D. (2013). Using a Hazard Quotient to Evaluate Pesticide Residues Detected in Pollen Trapped from Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) in Connecticut. PloS One, 8(10). e77550. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077550 (This includes data on pesticide residues in bee pollen from trapping pollen from hives in urban, suburban, mixed agricultural and suburban, and rural sites in the state).

Stoner K.A., B.D. Eitzer, 2012. Movement of Soil-Applied Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam into Nectar and Pollen of Squash (Cucurbita pepo). PLoS ONE 7(6): e39114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039114

New and Noteworthy Records of Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) for Connecticut.**


Additional Resource:

Pictorial Key to Female Bumble Bees of Connecticut-- Elaine Evans (used with permission) (PDF Format) 
Pictorial Key to Male Bumble Bees of Connecticut-- Elaine Evans (used with permission) (PDF Format) 


Content Last Modified on 2/2/2018 9:51:43 AM