This paper represents a one-year investigation into the complex causes and consequences of the current honey bee population decline, and potential responses that key stakeholders in Michigan can adopt to mitigate the problem. The investigation consisted of a literature review as well as author participation in various beekeeping conferences and meetings. Conversations with beekeepers Honey Bee Population Decline in Michigan and other states, as well as other key stakeholders, also helped guide our research and recommendations.
We begin the paper by outlining the state of honey bee population declines nationally and in Michigan. The second section describes some of the consequences of these declines for Michigan’s agricultural production and economy. The third section summarizes the various factors that likely contribute to current honey bee population declines. In the fourth section we briefly identify local mitigation techniques that can be (and are being) implemented by farmers and beekeepers in Michigan. In the fifth section we present recommendations for combating honey bee population decline at the state and national level.