Pollinator Conservation Resources – North Central Region

The pollinator resources found on this page support habitat restoration in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, eastern Colorado, eastern Wyoming, and eastern Montana.

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 pollinators@xerces.org.


Recommended Pollinator Plants

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.

Montana Native Plants for Pollinator-Friendly Plantings (Montana USDA-NRCS: technical bulletin)
An overview of regionally appropriate, easy-to-establish native wildflowers that support pollinators.

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.

Upper Midwest Pollinator Habitat Installation Guide: Conservation Cover (Draft)

Pollinator Conservation in Minnesota and Wisconsin: A Regional Stakeholders Report (The Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
This report summarizes the findings of an August 2010 meeting of regional stakeholders (farm organizations, universities, nonprofit conservation organization, and state and federal agencies) held at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. It identifies the primary threats to the region’s pollinator and offers conservation recommendations.

Minnesota Pollinator Resources (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: web resources)
A compilation of regional resources including guidelines on best management practices for pollinator habitat; and a new booklet featuring the pollinator resource values of upland and wetland prairie plants.

Pollinator Biology and Habitat (Colorado USDA-NRCS: technical note)
An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Colorado.

Habitat Development for Pollinator Insects (Montana USDA-NRCS: technical note)
An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in Montana.

Pollinators (South Dakota USDA-NRCS: fact sheet)
A short overview of basic pollinator ecology.

Pollinators Fact Sheet (North Dakota USDA-NRCS: fact sheet)
An overview of pollinator ecology, with lists of North Dakota native plant species and example pollinator habitat seed mixes.

Pollinator Plants of the Central United States: Native Milkweeds (Xerces and USDA-NRCS joint publication)
This guide profiles milkweed species of the lower Midwest and central United States, describes their wildlife value, and provides guidance on how to include milkweeds in habitat restoration plantings that benefit monarch butterflies, native bees, and other beneficial insects.

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.

ALCLA Native Plant Restoration Inc., Calgary, AB
ALCLA Native Plant Restoration Inc. offers native plants for use in reclamation and restoration projects, as well as in the use of native plants in home landscaping.

Allendan Seed, Winterset, IA
Allendan Seed offers over 250 species of Iowa grown native wildflower and prairie seed.

Bow Point Nursery, Calgary, AB
Bow Point Nursery uses sustainable practices to grow plants designed especially for the local landscape.

Fragrant Path Seeds, Fort Calhoun, NE
Fragrant Path is an online seed catalog and sells Nebraska wildflowers and some native grass seeds.

Glacial Ridge Growers, Glenwood, MN
Glacial Ridge Growers offers over 250 species of live plants, propagated and grown using sustainable non-chemical production techniques.

Great Bear Native Plants, Hamilton, MT
Great Bear provides native tree, shrub, wildflower and grass plant materials in a variety of sizes to the Western U. S.

Hoksey Native Seeds, Lynnville, IA
Hoksey provides Iowa ecotype native grasses and wildflower seeds, as well as CRP or custom seed mixes.

Ion Exchange Native Wildflower Seed and Nursery, Harpers Ferry, IA
Ion Exchange sells native prairie wildflower and grass seed and plant materials to locations in the Midwest.

Osenbaugh’s Prairie Seed Farms, Lucas, IA
This seed producer provides prairie wildflower and grass seeds of Iowa ecotypes.

The Prairie Flower, Spencer, IA
The Prairie Flower provides northwest Iowa ecotype native prairie and wetland plants and seeds.

Prairie Originals, Selkirk, MB
Prairie Originals produces seed and plant material of more than 125 species of Manitoba native plants for use in home gardening and conservation projects.

Seed Stock Farms, Murdock, NE
Seed Stock Farms offers prairie grass and wildflower seeds native to the Midwest, and also offers some naturalized species.

Shoestring Acres Seed, Lincoln, NE
Shoestring Acres Seed offers local ecotype and wild-harvested grass and wildflower seed of Nebraska native species.

Skinner Native Seeds, Roblin, MB
Skinner Native Seeds offers field-grown seed of local ecotypes of grasses and forbs as well as wild-harvested seed of Manitoba native species of wildflowers and grasses.

Wild About Flowers, Calgary, AB
Wild About Flowers offers native perennial wildflowers and grasses, including seed that is collected from natural spaces in Alberta and plants grown outdoors.

Bee Identification and Monitoring Resources

Western Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide (The Xerces Society: field ID guide)
A full color print-and-fold guide to the Western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

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.

Bumble bees of the Western 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 Western United States. Each bee species has information on preferred food plants, nesting biology, seasonal activity patterns, identification guidelines, and distribution maps.

Bumble Boosters (University of Nebraska: Extension web site resource)
Bumble Boosters is a collaborative project administered by the University of Nebraska to promote the study and conservation of bumble bees by Nebraska high schools. The site includes information about bumble bee biology, and a color identification guide to native bumble bees of the region.

Bumble bees of Colorado This pictorial guide to the bumblebees of Colorado features photos, species discussions, county distribution maps, elevation ranges and more.


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!