Pollinator Conservation Resources – Northeast Region

The pollinator resources found on this page support habitat restoration in Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern New York.

View all the regions in North America for other pollinator resources. Click here to access national resources for the US and Canada including:

  • Conservation guides and fact sheets for farms, gardens, parks and natural areas
  • Information on native bee nests
  • Pollinator plant lists
  • Pesticide guides
  • Bee identification and monitoring resources

For questions, comments, or to suggest additional content, please email [email protected].

Recommended Pollinator Plants

Pollinator Plants: Northeast Region (The Xerces Society: fact sheet)
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.

Native Plant Profiles and Lists (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: web site resource)
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.

Regional Milkweed Guides A series of regional guides to the native milkweeds of North America, developed in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Monarch Nectar Plant Guides While native milkweed is critical to support of monarch breeding, these regional guides were created to address a need for evidence-based, monarch-specific nectar plants throughout the U.S. These guides were developed in partnership with the Monarch Joint Venture and National Wildlife Federation and are geared toward gardeners and landscape designers but are also be useful for land managers who are implementing large-scale monarch restoration projects.

Pollinator-Friendly Plants for the Northeast United States (USDA-NRCS: web site resource)
An in-depth guide to pollinator-friendly plants of the Northeast United States.

Conservation Guides
Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Installation Guides (The Xerces Society: conservation guides)
These regional guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install nectar and pollen habitat for bees in the form of wildflower meadow plantings or linear rows of native flowering shrubs.

New England Pollinator Habitat Installation Guide: Conservation Cover (Draft)

New England Pollinator Biology and Habitat (USDA-NRCS: technical note)
An extremely lengthy, in-depth guide to bee conservation in New England. The document includes an overview of native bee and honey bee biology, farm management practices that impact pollinators, a color photo guide to common bee genera, and list of regionally appropriate plants for habitat restoration efforts on pages 25-38.

Understanding Native Bees, the Great Pollinators: Enhancing their Habitat in Maine (University of Maine: Extension fact sheet)
An article providing background on native bee biology and habitat needs that includes a plant list of important supplemental flower species with information on bloom period, growth type, and value of pollen and nectar.

Field Conservation Management of Native Leafcutting and Mason Osmia Bees (University of Maine: Extension fact sheet)
This document includes information on the natural history of tunnel nesting native bees and how to enhance forage resources and improve nesting sites.

Wild Bee Conservation for Wild Blueberry Fields (University of Maine: Extension fact sheet)
A document covering native bee biology and habitat needs. Includes a brief list of important supplemental flower species, and a table of agricultural chemicals that negatively affect bees.

Conservation and Management of Native Bees in Cranberry (University of Maine: Extension technical bulletin)
A comprehensive overview of native bees visiting cranberry bogs in Maine. This document includes a list of wildflowers visited by the various described bee species.

Indigenous Bees and Wild Blueberry Pollination (Nova Scotia Agricultural College: fact sheet)
An overview of native bee blueberry pollinators in Nova Scotia.

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.

Native Pollinator Plant Nurseries and Seed Companies

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes
The Xerces Society works with leading wildflower seed producers in multiple regions of the U.S. to develop custom native seed mixes that feature the best pollen and nectar plants available. Local ecotype, source-identified seed that is not treated with pesticides is used wherever possible. Large volume mixes are available at wholesale pricing to help offset the costs of native plant restoration.

American Native Plants, Quakertown, PA
American Native Nursery offers wholesale pricing on open-pollinated, 100% ecotyped native plugs and liners; foundation seed can be wild-collected from Massachusetts to Tennessee.

Earth Tones Native Plant Nursery and Landscapes, Woodbury, CT
Earth Tones provides live perennials, grasses, ferns, trees and shrubs native to New England. They do not ship plants out of the region.

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.

Fiddlehead Creek Native Plant Nursery, Hartford, NY
Fiddlehead offers plantings of herbaceous perennials, grasses, groundcovers, and shrubs native to New York.

Fieldstone Gardens, Inc. , Vassalboro, ME
This nursery sells on site or ships container vines and perennials native to the New England region.

Found Well Farm, Pembroke, NH
Found Well Farm is a retail nursery that provides live perennials, trees and shrubs native to New Hampshire.

Maine Wild Seed Project, Bluehill, ME
A non-profit organization that specializes in Maine native plants and offers wild-type seed of woodland, meadow and wetland species.

Native Haunts, Alfred, ME
Native Haunts specializes in seeds and live plants of trees, shrubs, and perennials including ferns and sedges, that are native to Maine and New England.

Native Landscapes & Garden Center, Pawling, NY
Native Landscapes is a retail garden center that sells (on-site only) garden varieties of native perennials, shrubs, and trees native to New England.

New England Wetland Plants, Inc., Amherst, MA
NEWP, Inc. is a native plant nursery that specializes in moisture loving native plants and also offers a variety of seed mixes. Wholesale only.

Pan’s Acres Nursery LLC, Canterbury, CT
Pan’s Acres offers native New England perennials and trees and shrubs, available by mail-order or by pick-up.

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.

Project Native, Housatonic, MA
A non-profit organization that cultivates and sells (on-site only) Berkshire native perennial plants, shrubs, vines, grasses and also offers seed mixes.

River Berry Farm, Fairfax, VT
River Berry Farm, a family-owned organic small fruit and vegetable farm, also sells native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.

That’s A Plenty Farm, Hadley, MA
That’s a Plenty Farm, a small family-owned permaculture farm, sells bulk quantities of various Asclepius seed varieties, as well as packets of native seeds for pollinator gardeners.

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

Turtle Tree Seed, Copake, NY
Turtle Tree Seed is the oldest biodynamic seed company in the United States, with 288 varieties of vegetables, grains, herbs, flowers and ornamentals.

Bee Identification and Monitoring Resources

Pennsylvania Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide (Penn State: instructional handbook)
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 (Penn State: field ID 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 (The Xerces Society: field ID 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 (The Xerces Society: field ID 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 (Center for Biodiversity and Conservation/Greenbelt Native Plant Center: citizen science program)
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 (USDA Forest Service: field ID guide)
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.


Policy Analysis Paper: Policy Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services with a Focus on Pollination (Berkeley Food Institute)
The Berkeley Food Institute collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to author this publication. It considers the mainstreaming of ecosystem services at both national and international levels, with a focus on pollination services. Following work undertaken through the GEF/UNEP/FAO Global Pollination Project, and through funding from the Norwegian Environment Agency, this publication addresses the interface between science and policy as a contribution to the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Supporting the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
This set of guidelines, released as a follow-up to the President’s Memorandum on pollinator health, is a supplement to older guidance on sustainable management of landscapes. The guidance will help Federal agencies incorporate pollinator friendly practices into new federal construction and landscaping projects. Click here to download the guidelines, or read more at WhiteHouse.gov


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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!