Learn About Pollinators

Here you’ll find general information on a variety of the most important pollinators. For more detailed information and guides to common North American bees, consider buying a copy of Attracting Native Pollinators.

Mating leafcutter bees by Bryan Reynolds

Native Bee Biology

There is an astonishing diversity of native bees across the USA. About 4,000 species have been identified and catalogued, ranging in length from less than one eighth of an inch to more than one inch. Read more…

Bumble bee by Mace Vaughan

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are important pollinators of wild flowering plants and crops. Loss of bumble bees can have far ranging ecological impacts due to their role as pollinators. Learn more about bumble bee conservation here.


Red List of Bees

Native bees are in decline, the red list includes detailed profiles on the conservation of each listed species. View the native bee red list here.

Monarchs Clustering on Eucalyptus at Private Property in Santa B

Monarch Butterflies

The monarch butterflies of North America are renowned for their long-distance seasonal migration and their spectacular winter gatherings in Mexico and California.Read more…

Life Cycle

The life cycle of a typical bumble bee colony. Illustration by David Wysotski, Allure Illustration.

Lifecycle diagram illustrated by David Wysotski


1. A queen emerges from hibernation in spring and finds a nest site, such as an abandon rodent burrow.

2. She creates wax pots to hold nectar and pollen, on which she lays and incubates her eggs.

3. When her daughters emerge as adults, they take over foraging and other duties.

4. In autumn the colony produces new queens and male bees, who leave to find mates. Newly mated queens hibernate and the rest of the bees die.


Attracting Native Pollinators

Xerces’ most recent book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available to purchase from our website. The book is published in 2011 by Storey Publishing, North Adams, Massachusetts. Attracting Native Pollinators is coauthored by four Xerces Society staff members Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Black in collaboration with Gretchen LeBuhn, San Francisco State University. Read more.


Resources for educators Whether it is a natural area in which plants tangle and flowers scramble or a more formally designed landscape, a school garden can provide both a source of inspiration and a learning resource that can be integrated through the school. A garden offers a direct way for students to learn about the Read more …


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Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about pollinator conservation.

Learn About Your Landscape:
Take Action!
Sign the Pledge!

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

The Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes

Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!

Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

Mating leafcutter bees by Bryan Reynolds. Bee in Tuscon by Mace Vaughan.