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Conservation and Habitat

The Basics of Pollinator Conservation  

Additional Resources

General Information:

Pollinator Biology and Habitat (USDA NRCS & Xerces Society 2008)

Native Pollinators: How to Protect and Enhance Habitat for Native Bees (Xerces Society 2008)

What's the buzz about bees? (Xerces Society 2009)

Pollinator Conservation: Three Simple Steps to Help Bees and Butterflies (Xerces Society 2010)

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists (SARE & NRAES 2012)

Backyard Beekeeping: Providing pollinator habitat one yard at a time (Beyond Pesticides 2009)

Book: Attracting Native Pollinators (Xerces Society 2011)

2008 Farm Bill:

2008 Farm Bill: Benefits to Crop Pollinators (Xerces Society 2008)

Using Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation (USDA & Xerces Society 2008)


Know the Habitat on your Farm (Xerces Society)

Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms (Xerces Society 2007)

Organic Farming for Bees: Conservation of Native Crop Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems  (Xerces Society 2007)

Parks & Golf Courses:

Making Room for Native Pollinators: How to Create Habitat for Pollinator Insects on Golf Courses (US Golf Association & Xerces Society 2002)

Pollinator-Friendly Parks: How to Enhance Parks, Gardens, and Other Greenspaces (Xerces Society 2008)

Rangelands, Roadsides, Natural Areas:

Rangeland Management for Pollinators (Xerces Society 2011)

Pollinators and Roadsides: Managing Roadsides for Bees and Butterflies (Xerces Society 2010)

Pollinators in Natural Areas: A Primer on Habitat Management (Xerces Society 2007)

Agroforestry: Improving Forage For Native Bee Crop Pollinators (USDA 2006)

Agroforestry: Sustaining Native Bee Habitat For Crop Pollination (USDA 2006)

Nest Sites:

Enhancing Nest Sites For Native Bee Crop Pollinators (USDA 2007)

Nests for Native Bees (Xerces Society)

Tunnel Nests for Native Bees: Nest Construction and Management (Xerces Society 2009)

With the decline in honey bees, a variety of crops are depending more on native bees and other insects (syrphid flies, lacewings, butterflies, etc.) for pollination. There are a number of things you can do to help conserve pollinators in your area:

  • Provide a variety of flowering plants as nectar sources for pollinators. These include trees, shrubs, and flowers. Be sure to choose plants that flower at different times of the year, in order to have nectar and pollen available at all times! Shrubs and perennials native to your area and climate zone (most of Minnesota is zone 3-4) can bloom year after year.

  • Minimize the use of pesticides and avoid broad-spectrum pesticides. Many pesticides (even some organic and natural pesticides) are toxic to bees and other pollinators. These include the neonicotinoids, pyrethroids, organophosphates, and others. If you must spray, choose a biorational chemical (safer to beneficials) and spray in early evening when most pollinators are less active (this also reduces the risk of phytotoxicity to the plant). Planting insect- and disease-resistant varieties, proper irrigation and nutrition management, and allowing beneficial insects and spiders to visit the plants may also reduce the need for using pesticides.

  • Provide or preserve nesting sites for native bees. Depending on the species, bees may nest in the ground, in cavities, or in wood.


Conservation Programs:

Pollinator Conservation in Minnesota and Wisconsin: A Regional Stakeholders Report (Xerces Society 2010)

Protection Nature's Essential Service: The Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program (Xerces Society 2010)

Types of Pollinators:

Wild pollinators of eastern apple orchards and how to conserve them (Cornel University 2012)

Pennsylvania Native Bee Survey: Citizen Scientist Pollinator Monitoring Guide (Xerces Society 2008)

Value of Bees * Types of Bees * Bees & Pesticides * CCD * Plants for Pollinators * Bumble Bees * EPA * European Union * Workshop * Research

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Pollinator Conservation


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Last modified on June 06, 2013