Honey of an Ally

CFANS sees what others can't.

And when it comes to bee research, we have just one goal: promoting the health of bee pollinators, who are responsible for about a third of the food we eat.

Bees are in trouble, for many reasons: habitat disruption, pesticides overuse and disease. But in CFANS, we combine knowledge about bees with our understanding of the food system to address challenges to bees and ensure food security for all.

A Honey of an Ally in Food Production

Bees pollinate our fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers. In CFANS, our primary research focus is on honey bees, how they behave and how they interact with humans, but we also study the abundance and diversity of native bee pollinators and how landscapes affect all pollinators.

Our research is complemented by education and outreach programs that aim to train the next generation of bee scientists as well as home and community beekeepers.

  • In addition to crop pollination services, honey bees are responsible for producing all U.S. honey. The Upper Midwest is the highest honey-producing region in the nation, much of it from the nectar of clover and alfalfa flowers. Minnesota prides itself on delicious and unique honey produced from native Basswood (Tilia americana) trees.
  • There are almost 20,000 known species of bees in the world. About 3,500 live in the United States, and in Minnesota, there are probably close to 400. Less than 2% are honey bees and bumble bees. The other 98% are mostly solitary bees who don't live in hives or work together.

Bees and Apple