Master Pollinator Steward Program

Pollinators — such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats and insects — play a crucial role in the production of most fruits and vegetables. They also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils and support wildlife.

Studies show that pollinator populations are in decline because of a loss of feeding and nesting habitats, pollution and the misuse of pesticides. Learn how to protect our agricultural economy and food supply with the Master Pollinator Steward program.

MU Extension specialists and stakeholders in the field developed this unbiased, research-based curriculum, which includes hands-on activities and classroom presentations.

Topics include:

  1. Insect overview
    • Insect basics
    • How insects grow and develop
    • Beneficial insects
    • Insect ecology
    • Insects as pests
    • Integrated pest management (IPM)
    • Plus specific information on monarch butterflies, Japanese beetles and boll weevils
    • For more, see MU Extension publication M401, Insects.
  2. Relationship between plant and pollinator
  3. Honey bees
    • Characteristics and life cycle of the honey bee
    • Habitats, communication and pollination
    • Controlling bee pests
    • Feral honey bees in the Midwest
    • Hive products
    • Should you keep bees?
    • Choosing a beehive
    • For more, see MU Extension publication M403, Honey Bees as Pollinators, Their Habitats and Products.
  4. Native pollinators
    • Mason and other solitary bees
    • Butterflies and moths
    • Fly pollination
    • Reducing pesticide use to benefit pollinators
    • When a beneficial pollinator is also a pest
    • Neonics
    • Citizen science related to pollinators
    • For more, see MU Extension publication M404, Native Insect Pollinators and Their Habitats.
  5. Pollinators in nature and agriculture

Check back frequently for information on upcoming trainings. For additional information, contact James Quinn.