Attitudes about Honey Bees and Pollinator-Friendly Practices: A Survey of Iowan Beekeepers, Farmers, and Landowners

Randall P. Cass, Erin W. Hodgson, Matthew E. O'Neal, Amy L. Toth, Adam G. Dolezal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The north central state of Iowa is heavily dominated by agriculture, with limited nesting and foraging habitat for wild and managed pollinators. This region has been identified as critical for pollinator conservation for bees and non-bee species (e.g., monarch butterfly [Danaus plexippus]). Pollinator sustainability (i.e., wild bee conservation and sustainable beekeeping) relies upon management decisions by beekeepers, farmers, and landowners, but it is unclear if these stakeholders are aware of and use best practices. We present results of surveys administered to Iowan beekeepers, farmers, and landowners after extension programming on best management practices for sustaining honey bees (Apis mellifera) and other pollinators. Results show beekeepers, farmers, and landowners believe implementing pollinator-friendly practices is important. However, knowledge of tools to implement these practices, such as registering apiaries to avoid pesticide drift or cost-share programs for establishing habitat on their land, was very low. These results suggest opportunities exist for connecting beekeepers seeking higher quality apiaries with landowners that have established habitat with added floral resources. Further, we reviewed practices that reconstruct tallgrass prairie with support of federal cost-share funds, specifically CP42 and CP43 of the USDA's conservation reserve program. Overall, we document strong support and enthusiasm for pollinator-friendly practices in Iowa but note gaps in knowledge of practices that are most effective and what tools are available to implement them. These results suggest a way for pollinator extension programs to address these knowledge gaps in a receptive group of beekeepers, farmers, and landowners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalJournal of Integrated Pest Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • beekeeping
  • extension
  • pollinator conservation
  • prairie
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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