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Starting from Scratch: New Hampshire Farm Dives into Conservation Biological Control

This positive case study demonstrates the possibilities for farmers interested in supporting native pollinators and reducing or eliminating pesticide use.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – September 2019

September’s featured staff members have been providing Monarch and Pollinator Habitat Kits to select organizations in California, training Colorado Department of Transportation staff on roadside pollinator habitat, and attending the America’s Grasslands Conference, held this year in North Dakota.

Nature Close to Home: Reimagining Gardens to Support Invertebrates

Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society, encourages gardeners to increase the diversity of native plants, ensure that there are places for insects to nest, and avoid using pesticides.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – August 2019

August’s featured staff members conducted a successful pollinator habitat workshop in Nebraska, and have been busy building beetle banks in Iowa.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – June 2019

June’s featured staff share their work with partners in large-scale agriculture in central Washington, family farms in Wisconsin, and a unique urban agriculture fellowship program in Virginia.

Managing Invertebrate-Friendly Gardens

Many Xerces Society members create wildlife gardens that are particularly hospitable to invertebrates. Here are three wonderful examples.

Bee City USA: Galvanizing Communities to Reverse Pollinator Decline

Collectively, urban and suburban areas have the potential of offering millions of acres of life-giving habitat to pollinators.

Bring Back the Pollinators During National Pollinator Week

With Pollinator Week upon us, now is the time to reaffirm our commitment to protecting these vital invertebrates. Here are some tangible ways to help.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019

May’s featured staff share stories of building pollinator habitat that will also support monarchs—one project on a farm in Iowa, and the other in a park in Missouri.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – April 2019

April’s featured staff—all Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planners—are driving the adoption of cover cropping in California, guiding farmers to support pollinators in Maine, and teaching the importance of rangeland to pollinator conservation in North Dakota.

How to Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation—During Earth Week and Beyond!

Helping the monarch back to full health isn’t going to be easy or quick, but together we can transform the landscape to allow the monarch to rebound—and give our children the gift of watching orange wings flap in the sunshine.

Bee City USA Mobilizes Communities to Support Imperiled Pollinators—Here’s How to Join

Earth Week is an inspiring time, brimming with opportunities to make a difference—including getting your community certified as a Bee City USA.

Pesticide-Free Gardening Tips for Earth Week and Beyond

Please consider spending Earth Week in the garden, enjoying the diversity of insects, and taking a few of the actions outlined below to simultaneously minimize pest problems and avoid the use of pesticides.

Bee Better Certified Engages the Almond Industry

With a robust set of requirements on pesticide use and the highest standards for protecting and restoring pollinator habitat of any food certification, Bee Better Certified represents a new era in biodiversity protection on farms.

Pledge to Bring Back the Pollinators—on Earth Day and Every Day

During Earth Week 2019, we are asking you to consider taking simple, yet impactful, steps to make the world better for bees, butterflies, and other essential invertebrates.

Community Scientists Take on the Cultivar Conundrum

The Xerces Society’s blog post “Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum” highlighted the lack of research on this topic. To help address this knowledge gap, Budburst launched the Nativars research project in 2018.

Bee Better Certified: An Evolving Standard

After a year and a half of Bee Better Certified, we have analyzed how the standards work for the many operations that are already implementing them, and have adjusted our requirements accordingly.

Mitigating the Effects of Heat on Urban Pollinators

Climate change will bring higher temperatures and greater extremes in weather, as well as increases in the frequency and intensity of heat waves. These variations will be exacerbated in cities in ways that may spell trouble for bees.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – February 2019

February’s featured staff member has been working on a hedgerow incorporating diverse native species in North Carolina. Here she reports on its progress and the interesting invertebrates sighted on the plantings!

National Butterfly Center Gets Reprieve—But Border Wall Will Impact Much More

There are many reasons to oppose the wall along the southern border—including the loss of habitat for some of our smallest and most important animals.

Cedaroak Park Primary School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities

Jenni Denekas, Xerces' web and communications coordinator, writes, "Being assigned to create an interpretive panel for Cedaroak Park Primary School, where I attended grade school, was a special experience."

New Year’s Count of Western Monarchs Confirms Decline, Trends Seen in Previous Years

Overall, the count data revealed an average decrease of 38% between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s counts.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019

January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat in California’s Central Valley and helping farmers both navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act and provide restored habitat for native bees in Maine.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – December 2018

December’s featured staff hail from Iowa and Minnesota, and have been making significant impacts in their respective states by educating farmers and other members of the public, helping to restore and build new habitat, and pushing for policies that support pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Are Freshwater Mussels in Hot Water?

Freshwater mussels play an important role in maintaining water quality in creeks. Climate change is altering water conditions, impacting the mussels and the fish on which they rely for part of their life cycle.

Where Do Pollinators Go in the Winter?

Most native bee species will spend the winter in the nests that their mothers provisioned. In fact, just like bears, many pollinators hibernate through the winter—and they may need a little help to survive until spring.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018

November’s featured staff hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and California, and have been conducting training and outreach events, helping General Mills to implement their plan to plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat, and monitoring farm habitat plantings in the San Joaquin Valley.

A Shifting Climate Creates Winners and Losers

We are already observing impacts on some species that are emerging earlier or whose distributions are changing, but it is difficult to characterize how insects as a whole will be impacted: some species will benefit while most will lose out.

The Striking Beauty of Oklahoma’s Butterflies

Oklahoma’s impressive butterfly fauna of more than 170 species includes the nation’s largest and the smallest, and representatives of all six major butterfly families.

Ups and Downs of English Chalk Grasslands

About a third of Britain’s sixty resident butterfly species may be encountered on chalk grasslands, but it is a handful of blues—common, chalkhill, small, and Adonis—that may be most characteristic of this habitat.

Fall Garden Tips to Benefit Bumble Bees All Year

The growing season may be winding down, but fall is an important time to create habitat. The work you do now will help support overwintering pollinators and the next generation of bumble bees.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2018

October’s featured staff hail from Oklahoma, California, and Nebraska, and have been providing workshops for the public, planning pollinator habitat for arid agricultural areas, and assessing the success of pollinator plantings.

From the Field: A Visit to Klickitat Canyon Vineyard

Klickitat Canyon Winery is teeming with life of many kinds, from flowers and bees to birds and spiders. The organic vineyard is working towards becoming Bee Better Certified.

Connecticut’s Sand Plains Need Protection

Sand plains have been subjected to mining, development, and fragmentation, resulting in a loss of up to 95% of this habitat type. But these unusual environments are home to a number of rare plants and insects.

Weird and Wonderful Plants for Pollinators: Pale Indian Plantain

Pale Indian plantain is a plant with high ambitions—leaping to up to nine feet in height! The unusual flowers are visited by a mix of predatory wasps, which are the plant's primary pollinators and provide some of the best pest control you could ask for.

Weird and Wonderful Plants for Pollinators: Wild Quinine

Also known as wild feverfew, this plant has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans and the US Army. During World War I, wild quinine was used as a substitute for the bark of the Cinchona tree—as the active ingredient of quinine used to treat malaria.

Weird and Wonderful Plants for Pollinators: Rattlesnake Master

It won't protect you from a snake bite, but rattlesnake master still has many virtues to recommend it.

Weird and Wonderful Plants for Pollinators: Prairie Smoke

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire - but where there’s prairie smoke, there are bumble bees, buzz-pollination, and a bit of thievery.

Bee Friendlier with Your Lawncare

If you’re ready to re-think your lawn, read on for practical advice and small changes that can help support pollinators and a healthier planet.

Managing for Monarchs in the West

A new guide to protecting the monarch butterfly from the Pacific to the Rockies presents a holistic approach to monarch conservation.

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Here are some ways you can work to promote a healthy planet for invertebrates and the people they let share their planet.

Tropical Milkweed—a No-Grow

Milkweed is in demand, and that demand has been filled in recent years by tropical milkweed, a non-native species. But is planting tropical milkweed potentially doing more harm than good?

Newly Released Monarch Overwintering Site Management Plan Provides Blueprint for Protecting and Managing Monarch Groves

This western monarch butterfly overwintering site management plan also serves as a template for land managers at other overwintering sites.

Staff Stories: Life in the Suburbs

Our Communications Director Matthew Shepherd shares stories of creating a mini wildlife sanctuary in his Portland, OR garden, and the many plant/insect interactions that have brought his family so much enjoyment in a suburban space.

Sran Family Orchards: The First Bee Better Certified Farm

Sran Family Orchards, the world’s largest grower of organic almonds, has long committed to sustainable farming, with flower-rich pollinator habitat as an integral part of the almond orchards. This investment recently paid off when Sran Family Orchards gained certification as a Bee Better Certified grower.

Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum

What are cultivars, and do they have the same benefits to pollinators as non-cultivars? The answer depends—not all cultivars are created equally.

Planning Your Plantings for Climate Resiliency

With earlier springs and warmer fall days - pollinators need plants that provide resources at the farthest fringes of the growing season.

Leave the Leaves!

One of the most valuable things you can do to support pollinators and other invertebrates is to provide them with the winter cover they need in the form of fall leaves and standing dead plant material. Frequently however, this is the hardest pill for gardeners to swallow.

New Fact Sheet Highlights Risks to California’s Surface Water from Insecticides

Neonicotinoids have been found in California’s rivers and streams at levels known to harm or outright kill aquatic invertebrates.

Don’t Downsize the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is unique among the BLM’s National Conservation Lands in that it is one of the most biologically diverse places in North America.

1.3 Billion Stems of Milkweed Needed in Midwest to Recover Monarch Population

A new study from the USGS, Univ. of Arizona, and partner organizations finds 1.3 additional milkweed stems are needed in the Midwestern U.S. to recover monarch butterfly populations.

Are you up for the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge?

Can the nation establish a network of one million pollinator gardens within two years? Yes we can!

Bring Back the Pollinators: 5 Ways to Increase Nesting Habitat for Native Bees

Recent research suggests that pollinators do better in urban environments, yet these mowed, mulched, and managed landscapes frequently lack a sufficient amount of nesting habitat needed to support large numbers of bees. As wild bees move off ag lands and head for the cities and suburbs, they may struggle to find their “dream home” amongst ours.

The Crystal Skipper: North Carolina’s Newest Butterfly Species

Last week, a butterfly found along the North Carolina coast was officially named as a new species.