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protecting pollinators

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2019

October's featured staff members recently attended a carbon farm planning training in California, and spoke at an event that paired art and conservation in Iowa.

To Protect Pollinators We Must Address All Risk Factors

Recent media coverage of a study on Tilia trees could lead to a dangerous misinterpretation of existing science—incorrectly exonerating neonicotinoid insecticides, which are known to harm pollinators.

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.

Working Together in Iowa to Find the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, writes about a recent workshop in Iowa and a sighting of the endangered rusty patched bumble bee.

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.

New Xerces Fact Sheet Takes a Deeper Look at Fungicides and Their Effects on Pollinators

Introducing Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators.

Arriving in Stores: Bee Better Certified Blueberries

In partnership with AC Foods and Oregon Tilth, we’re pleased to announce the arrival of California Giant brand Bee Better Certified organic blueberries.

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.

Let’s Make Every Week Pollinator Week!

Without a doubt, every week is Pollinator Week here at the Xerces Society. Here are a variety of ways to support our efforts to conserve these vital invertebrates throughout the year—no matter where you live!

Working to Conserve Monarchs from Coast to Coast

The Xerces Society is working across the U.S. to conserve this beloved species, and there are a number of ways you can help!

Remember the Ground Nesting Bees when You Make Your Patch of Land Pollinator-Friendly

Providing nesting sites and reducing or eliminating pesticide use is key to supporting these important pollinators.

Managing Invertebrate-Friendly Gardens

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

Introducing Xerces’ Newest Community Science Project: Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas

Work alongside researchers to collect data and support bumble bee conservation.

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.

Reflecting on a Multi-Year Conservation Biological Control Project

From 2015–2019, the Xerces Society brought a series of 61 day-long courses on conservation biological control to 49 states and 2,000 participants, with far-reaching results.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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."

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.

Pollinators and the 2018 Farm Bill

Although we did not get everything we wanted in the 2018 Farm Bill, pollinators are still a priority and formal commitments to support conservation efforts are now in effect for at least the next five years.

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.

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.

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.

Can Robobees Solve the Pollination Crisis?

Focusing solely on crop pollination and failing to take the pollination of native plants into account may well lead to a deterioration in the plant communities that make up the very fabric of our environment.

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.

Bumble Bee Die-Off Under Investigation in Virginia

Bee kill incidents have marred Pollinator Week—which should be a week of celebration. Will other states learn from Oregon to prevent future incidents and protect pollinators?

Xerces Society + Bee City USA = A Match Made in Pollinator Heaven

Bee City USA brings a unique approach that encourages cities and college campuses across the United States to develop and implement a plan for helping pollinators.

From the Field: Trees for Bees

Our Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Conservation Specialist Kelly Gill visited the Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, DE, to tour the gardens and give a talk on the best trees for bees. Kelly shares highlights of this visit and her top picks for spring-blooming trees for bees.

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.

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?

Second New Year's Count Supports Monarchs' Movement Between Sites

The Xerces Society's Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count provides a long-running record of the number of monarchs overwintering in California-including the steep decline of recent decades.

How Our Gardening Choices Affect the Health of Our Waterways

Pesticide Program Director Aimee Code shares thoughts on her garden, information about pesticide impacts to our watershed, and news about upcoming Xerces projects in this article from Wings Magazine.

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.

Community Science Data Aids in Expert Testimony on Regulation of Commercially Bred Bumble Bees

Observations from Bumble Bee Watch show the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) far outside of its native range.

Telluride Teen Takes Action Helping Pollinators

In Telluride, Colo., Soleil Gaylord has been growing and sharing seeds since grade school, initiated a habitat revegetation project, and more recently, organized an art show in support of pollinators. This is her story, in her own words.

To Protect Moths—Turn Out the Lights!

Happy Moth Week! National Moth Week is the last full week in July and is a time to get outside—day or night—and appreciate these less-celebrated Lepidopterans.

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.

Xerces’ Pollinator Team Grows, Again

Thanks to a partnership between General Mills and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, in June 2017, Xerces' pollinator conservation team added six new conservation specialists.

Protecting Pollinators One Community at a Time

Pollinators need habitat that is protected from pesticides. Learn how you can encourage your local government to adopt policies that protect pollinators.

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!

Don’t spring into garden cleanup too soon!

Early garden cleanup could be removing critical habitat and leaving pollinators out in the cold.

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.

Conservation Comes Home

What you can do to defend invertebrates in your backyard and beyond.

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee: The First Bee in the Continental U.S. to be Protected Under the Endangered Species Act

This news comes after more than a decade of work by the Xerces Society and our partners: Scientists, farmers and land managers, filmmakers, advocates, and community members who all care about native bees and their plight.

New Report: How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees

To bring clarity to the debate and to inform discussion, the Xerces Society has published How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees. Summarizing hundreds of studies, the new report provides an in-depth look at the science behind the role these insecticides play in harming bees.

Shortfalls of EPA’s Preliminary Risk Assessment for Imidacloprid

While we are pleased that the EPA released this initial assessment, our review of the documents shows severe shortfalls in the methods and omissions in the evaluation.

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.

Study Finds High Levels of Pesticides in Wild Bees Foraging in Farmland

A new study from USGS greatly expands our understanding of the level to which to native bees foraging in agricultural fields and nearby grasslands may be exposed to pesticides.

Xerces Goes Island Hopping for Bees

A barge, a tractor, hundreds of pounds of seed, and half a dozen tough farmers are the recipe for restoring a 50-acre wildflower meadow in the middle of the Columbia River.

Climate Change Driving, Not the Only Passenger; Bumble Bee Conservation in Context

Interpreting recent research about the impacts of climate change on bumble bees, providing context for the results, and examining how they may affect conservation efforts.

A Mother-and-Son Perspective on a Pollinator Garden

Alice Vaughan wrote a lovely narrative of her bee garden on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Alice’s son, Mace (who co-directs our pollinator program), added his memories of sharing in the garden.

Wildflowers, Harbingers of Spring

Spring wildflowers are an important first food of the season for pollinators. Jennifer Hopwood discusses the importance of these harbingers of spring.