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Pollinator Conservation Resources: Mid-Atlantic Region

On a long, curving branch covered in pink blooms, a fat, fuzzy bee collects nectar and pollen.
(Photo: Xerces Society / Mace Vaughan)

Welcome to our Pollinator Conservation Resources for the Mid-Atlantic Region! Here you'll find region-specific collections of publications, native seed vendors, and other resources to aid in planning, establishing, restoring, and maintaining pollinator habitat—as well as materials to help you learn about the species of invertebrates and native plants you might encounter. For more resources, see our Publications Library or learn about our Pollinator Conservation Program.

Click to return to the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center home page.

 

Habitat Assessment

Pennsylvania Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form and Guide

This regional habitat assessment tool enables you to evaluate specific pollinator habitat features before and after project implementation in both orchard and field crop settings.

 

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Yards, Gardens, and Parks

Landscaping for pollinators is one of the easiest ways for urban, suburban, and rural residents to directly benefit local wildlife. Schoolyards, community gardens, back yards, corporate campuses, rain gardens, and neighborhood parks all have the potential to meet the most basic needs of pollinators, including protection from pesticides, and resources for foraging, nesting, and overwintering. 

 

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.

 

Habitat Assessment Guide For Pollinators: Natural Areas and Rangelands

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for natural areas and rangelands.

 

Habitat Assessment Guide for Beneficial Insects: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This beneficial insect habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.

 

Estimated Costs to Establish Wildflower Plantings Using Chemical Fallow

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a quick overview of the estimated costs of establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators on conventional farms.

 

Habitat Installation

Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment

Site preparation is one of the most important and often inadequately addressed components for successfully installing pollinator habitat. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions, helpful suggestions, and regional timelines & checklists for preparing both small and large sites.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Pennsylvania Conservation Cover (327)

Specific to Pennsylvania, this Xerces and USDA-NRCS guide provides detailed instructions for installing and maintaining pollinator habitat in the form of conservation cover according to NRCS Conservation Practice 327, complete with recommended native plant lists, example seed mixes, and a Job Sheet for planning, implementing, and completing the project.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Pennsylvania Hedgerow Planting (422)

Specific to Pennsylvania, this Xerces and USDA-NRCS guide provides detailed instructions for installing and maintaining pollinator habitat in the form of hedgerows according to NRCS Conservation Practice 422, complete with recommended native plant lists and a Job Sheet for planning, implementing, and completing the project.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  New Jersey Conservation Cover (327) for Pollinators
These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide. 

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  New Jersey Hedgerow Planting (422) for Pollinators

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide. 

 

Habitat Installation Guide: Delaware Conservation Cover (327) for Pollinators

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide.

 

Habitat Installation Guide:  Maryland Conservation Cover (327) for Pollinators

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide. 

 

Wildflower Meadow for Wildlife and Pollinators: Virginia

A job sheet containing technical specifications for creating habitat through the NRCS Conservation Cover practice standard, as part of various USDA conservation programs.

 

West Virginia Pollinator Handbook

This extensive handbook focuses on the diversity and conservation of native bees and butterflies in and around farm land in West Virginia.

 

Plant Lists

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.

 

Pollinator Plants: Mid-Atlantic Region 
Recommended native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders.

 

Monarch Nectar Plants:  Mid-Atlantic Region

This regional list of monarch nectar plants is geared toward gardeners, landscape designers, and land managers who are implementing small- to large-scale monarch restoration projects.

 

Native Plant Profiles and Lists 
The Xerces Society has collaborated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to create plant lists that are attractive to native bees, bumble bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects, as well as plant lists with value as nesting materials for native bees. These lists can be narrowed down with additional criteria such as state, soil moisture, bloom time, and sunlight requirements.

 

Roadside Habitat for Monarchs: Milkweeds of the Mid-Atlantic

A diversity of milkweed species is found on roadsides, and play an important role in supporting the life cycle of monarchs. This guide can help you recognize the most common native species of milkweed on roadsides in your region.

 

Delaware Native Plants for Native Bees
A guide to native plants that includes photos and cultural requirements of each species.

 

Conserving Wild Bees in Pennsylvania
A resource on the wild bees of Pennsylvania and how to select appropriate pollinator plants.

 

Native Plants that Provide Forage for Bees
Web resource from the Chatham County North Carolina Cooperative Extension which includes a list of plants that provide forage for bees.

 

Habitat Management

Maintaining Diverse Stands of Wildflowers Planted for Pollinators

High quality pollinator meadows sometimes experience a decline in wildflower diversity or abundance as they age. This Xerces Society guide provides recommendations on how to bring declining meadows back into a high quality condition.

 

Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed

In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment, as well as tips for cleaning, storing, and sharing seed to expand pollinator habitat on farms and in our communities.

 

Farm Management for Native Bees: A Guide for Delaware

This technical bulletin from the Delaware Department of Agriculture Pollinator Protection Plan page provides guidelines on how to balance common crop production practices with native bee conservation.

 

Habitat Development for Pollinators in New Jersey

An in-depth technical guide to the enhancement of pollinator habitat for USDA conservation programs.

 

Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards (Second Edition)

Produced by Cornell University, Penn State University, The Xerces Society, Northeastern IPM Center, USDA Department of Agriculture, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This book includes a photo guide to bees most important to apple production in the East, steps to conserving wild bee populations, plant recommendations to enhance habitat, summary of bee toxicities for commonly used orchard pesticides, and links to additional information.

 

Managing Eastern Apple Orchards for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

Developed by Penn State Extension and Xerces Society staff, this full-color, 86-page guide with over 100 photographs focuses on balancing pest management in orchards with the protection of managed and wild pollinators and beneficial insects.

 

Pesticide Protection

 

Guidance to Protect Habitat from Pesticide Contamination: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Pollinator Habitat

This Xerces Society guidance document was designed to help growers, land managers, and others safeguard pollinator habitat from harmful pesticide contamination. It includes information on selecting habitat sites, as well as ways to maintain clean habitat by limiting and carefully managing pesticide use.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Protecting Pollinators at Home

Most of North America’s native bee species only forage over a distance of a few hundred yards, so with a little planning, your yard can provide a safe space for bees and other pollinators to thrive. All you need to give them are flowering plants throughout the growing season, undisturbed places to nest, and protection from pesticides. This Xerces Society guide will help you with the last item, managing yard pests in a pollinator-friendly way.

 

Smarter Pest Management: Pollinator Protection for Cities and Campuses

This Xerces Society fact sheet introduces to city and campus land managers the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), a system that emphasizes prevention first and seeks to eliminate the underlying causes of plant diseases, weeds, and insect problems rather than relying on routine use of pesticides.

 

Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

From large farms to small backyard gardens, many people use fungicides to control plant pathogens. While insecticides have long been recognized as a threat to bees and other beneficial insects, fungicides have generally been assumed to be relatively harmless. Though most fungicide exposures won’t kill a bee immediately, a growing body of research suggests that some fungicides can cause subtle yet significant harm. This Xerces Society fact sheet delves into how these impacts on pollinators occur, and offers mitigation measures and alternative pest management strategies.

 

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides 

This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field.

 

Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. This Xerces Society brochure explains why they are a risk to bees, gives examples of neonicotinoid garden products, and gives some simple tips for protecting bees from these insecticides.

 

How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees: The Science Behind the Role These Insecticides Play in Harming Bees

In this Xerces Society report, we present an overview of research that clearly documents neonicotinoid impacts on bees. The report also covers what can be inferred from existing research, and identifies knowledge gaps that will need to be filled to allow for better-informed decisions about the future use and regulation of these chemicals.

 

Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Agriculturally Important Beneficial Insects

This Xerces Society report details potential negative impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on important beneficial insects. It also makes recommendations on how we can better protect important beneficials like beetles and wasps.

 

Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

These Xerces Society guidelines provide a brief overview of how to select and apply pesticides for organic farm operations while minimizing pollinator mortality. Many of the practices outlined here for protecting pollinators also can help to protect beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and flies; predaceous wasps, flies, and beetles; ambush and assassin bugs; lacewings; and others. The presence of these insects can further reduce pest pressure and the need for chemical treatments.

 

Common Organic-Allowed Pesticides: A Comparative Overview

Intended as a companion document to Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, this fact sheet is intended to be a quick reference to help you select and use organically-approved pesticides with the least impact on bees and other beneficial insects.

 

Supporting Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management: Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a brief overview of mosquito management methods that protect both people and pollinators, plus two case studies in effective mosquito management.

 

IPI Database

The IPI database contains summaries of research articles on pesticides, their effects on invertebrates, and pesticide movement in the environment. Articles have been reviewed and summarized to highlight key findings by Xerces Society staff.

 

Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using Integrated Pest Management and Other Conservation Practices

Agronomy Technical Note No. 9.

Identification & Monitoring

Native Bee Benefits for Pennsylvania and New Jersey Farmers

A guide to native bee pollinators of the Mid Atlantic states and the native plants that support them.

 

Pennsylvania Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide
An instructional handbook for native bee survey efforts, used by the Penn State Master Gardener Program. The handbook assists users in identifying native bees to broad morphological categories for assessing general pollinator abundance and diversity. Developed in collaboration with the Xerces Society, this guide is useful in identifying broad groups of bees throughout the Northeastern U.S.

 

Pennsylvania Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Pocket Guide
A pocket-sized printable field version of the taxonomic native bee groups described the Penn-State Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide.

 

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide
A full color print-and-fold guide to the yellowbanded bumble bee (Bombus terricola), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

 

Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide
A full color print-and-fold guide to the rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

 

Great Pollinator Project
The Great Pollinator Project (formerly NYC Bee Watchers) engages public participants with bee surveying efforts in New York City. Project goals are to 1) identify which areas of New York City have good pollination services (as determined by how quickly bees show up to pollinate flowers at various locations throughout the city); 2) increase understanding of bee distribution; 3) raise public awareness of native bees; and 4) improve park management and home gardening practices to benefit native bees.



Bumble bees of the Eastern United States
This field guide was produced by the USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership. The Guide covers the most commonly encountered bumble bees of the Eastern United States. Each bee species has information on preferred food plants, nesting biology, seasonal activity patterns, identification guidelines, and distribution maps.

Native Seed & Plant Vendors

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.

 

American Native Plants, Perry Hall, MD
This nursery specializes in trees and shrubs native to the Mid-Atlantic region, and also sells aquatic and herbaceous native plants.

 

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope, PA
Bowman’s Hill provides native Pennsylvania plant material and seeds of trees, shrubs, vines and wildflowers.

 

Carolina Wetland Services, Inc. , Charlotte, NC
The native plant nursery of Carolina Wetland Services provides aquatic, wetland and riparian plants of the Southeast region.

 

Chesapeake Native Nursery, College Park, MD
Chesapeake Natives provide local ecotype wildflowers and grasses by order to the Chesapeake Watershed area.

 

Delaware Native Plant Society, Dover, DE
The Delaware Native Plant Society’s nursery is dedicated to growing trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that are native to the Delmarva Peninsula.

 

Earth First Native Plant Nursery, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Earth First sells nursery-propagated native herbaceous and woody perennials of the Mid-Atlantic region, NJ Pinelands and Southern NJ shore, and does not ship west of the Great Plains.

 

Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery, Fairfax, VA
Earth Sangha’s Wild Plant Nursery provides a comprehensive selection of local ecotype native plants for ecological restoration in the Washington, DC, region.

 

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery, LLC, Orefield, PA
Edge of the Woods is a retail container nursery specializing in native plants, including trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns and aquatic plants.

 

Elk Mountain Nursery, Asheville, NC
Elk Mountain offers nursery-propagated perennials, shrubs, and trees, with a focus on Eastern U.S. natives.

 

Ernst Conservation Seed, Meadville, PA
Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects.
Ernst sells a diversity of Eastern ecotype native wildflower and grass seeds, as well as planting material of trees and shrubs.

 

Fort Pond Native Plants, Inc. , Montauk, NY
Fort Pond specializes in woody native plants and also offers ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.

 

Gardens of the Blue Ridge, Pineola, NC
Gardens of the Blue Ridge sells native North Carolina wildflowers, ferns, shrubs as well as wildflower seed mixes.

 

Good Host Plants, Philadelphia, PA
Good Host Plants supplies straight species native plants with genetics of local provenance to the Mid-Atlantic, as well as select native cultivars and rare species – all best bests for attracting butterflies, moths, bees, other beneficial insects, and songbirds.

 

Herring Run Nursery, Baltimore, MD
Herring Run Nursery specializes in growing hard-to-find native shrubs, vines, trees and perennials for Maryland’s Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions.

 

Long Island Native Plant Initiative, Hampton Bays, NY
The Long Island Native Plant Initiative establishes commercial sources of genetically appropriate local plant materials for use in nursery, landscaping, and habitat restoration activities.

 

Mellow Marsh Farm, Siler City, NC
Mellow Marsh Farm specializes in plant material of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and wetland plants native to the Southeast.

 

Mid Atlantic Natives, New Freedom, PA
Mid Atlantic Natives sells Northeast and Chesapeake Bay Watershed region native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses.

 

Nature By Design, Alexandria, VA
Nature By Design offers native trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals found in the Atlantic area.

 

North Creek Nurseries, lnc. , Landenberg, PA
North Creek is a wholesale propagation nursery that sells New England native plants in plugs.

 

Northeast Natives & Perennials, Quakertown, PA
Northeast Natives & Perennials is a retail nursery specializing in native perennials, trees and shrubs of the northeastern U. S.

 

Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Kirkwood, PA
Octoraro is a wholesale grower specializing in mid-Atlantic and Eastern regional native woody trees and shrubs and plugs of grasses and wildflowers.

 

Pinelands Nursery, Columbus, NJ
Pinelands Nursery is a wholesale supplier of native trees, shrubs and herbaceous species in the Northeast, carrying both plants and seeds.

 

Redbud Native Plant Nursery, Media, PA
Redbud sells native plants including trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, wildflowers and aquatic plants for the mid-Atlantic region.

 

Stadler Native Plants, Frederick, MD
This nursery offers a wide range of native trees, shrubs, perennials, and annual plants for the mid-Atlantic region.

 

Toadshade Wildflower Farm, Frenchtown, NJ
Toadshade provides nursery propagated perennial wildflowers native to the Northeastern U. S.

 

Yellow Springs Farm Native Plant Nursery, Chester Springs, PA
Yellow Springs offers grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees native to Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic states.

Pennsylvania Native Seed Mix

This mix produced by Ernst Conservation Seeds includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and a native bunch grass that provides nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is suitable for habitat restoration in Pennsylvania.

 

Northeastern Native Seed Mix
Produced by Ernst Conservation Seeds, this mix includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and appropriate for habitat restoration in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, northern New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Also included is a native bunch grass that provides nesting habitat for bumble bee and other beneficial insects.

 

Mid-Atlantic Native Seed Mix

This mix produced by Ernst Conservation Seeds includes high quality native perennial wildflowers that are highly attractive to pollinators, and a native bunch grass that provides nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is suitable for habitat restoration in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, northeastern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

 

Eastern Great Lakes Native Seed Mix

This regionally adapted mix from Ohio Prairie Nursery includes diverse native wildflower species that provide high quality sources of pollen and/or nectar to pollinators, and several species of native bunch grass that provide nesting habitat for bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This mix is suitable for planting in Ohio, Indiana, western New York, and western Pennsylvania.

 

Further Reading

 

Coming soon!