Pollinator Conservation


High country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus)

The Source of Hope and Wonder Comes in Small Packages

Published on September 10, 2019

One of our senior endangered species conservation biologists trekked into Washington state’s Pasayten Wilderness to find the elusive high country bumble bee (Bombus kirbiellus).


Planting a Pollinator Strip in a Vegetable Garden – Omaha, NE

Published on September 9, 2019

September 21st, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
City Sprouts Farm
Omaha, NE

Join Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, for this hands-on, interactive workshop presented in partnership with the City Sprouts Farm and Growing Gardeners. Learn about pollinators and beneficial insects in the garden while helping to plant pollinator strips at the City Sprouts farm.

Click here for more information and to register.


Pacific Northwest Agroforestry Workshop – Spokane, WA

Published on

September 17th – 19th, 2019
Enduris Training Facility
Spokane, WA

Join Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Co-Director with the Xerces Society, for his presentation on Pollinators in Agroforestry Systems as part of this workshop for technical assistance providers, extension staff, and anyone else who works with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to promote agroforestry in the Pacific Northwest. Please note that this is a three day workshop, and Mace’s presentation is on September 17th from 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM.

Click here for more information and to register.


Pollinator Conservation – Sonora, CA

Published on

October 1st, 2019
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Senior Center
Sonora, CA

Join Angela Laws, Monarch and Pollinator Ecologist with the Xerces Society, for this presentation on the status of native pollinators and reasons they are declining, with a focus on pesticides, climate change, and what people can do to help.

Click here for more information.


Build Your Refuge Day – Albuquerque, NM

Published on September 6, 2019

September 28th, 2019
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
Albuquerque, NM

Join Emily May, Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, at the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge for the launch of the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program. Emily will host a family-friendly table with interactive activities on pollinators and beneficial insects. Participate in hands-on habitat restoration in the refuge’s wetlands, attend outdoor workshops on gardening for wildlife, and more! Water, a hat and closed-toed shoes are recommended. The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for more information.


Xerces Society Iowa workshop

Working Together in Iowa to Find the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Published on September 4, 2019

Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist, along with two other natural resource professionals from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently taught more than 50 fellow natural resource practitioners about the biology, ecology, and identification of Iowa’s bumble bees, as well as specifics on the federally endangered rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis).


Nature Series: Bees, Butterflies, and Brews – Polk City, IA

Published on August 30, 2019

September 22nd, 2019
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Fenders Brewing
Polk City, IA

Join Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist with the Xerces Society, to learn about the important role that bees, butterflies, and other pollinators play within Iowa’s landscape and what you can do to conserve these critical species.

For more information, contact Sarah Nizzi at sarah.n[email protected]


How to Support Pollinators and Beneficial Insects in Central New Mexico – Los Lunas, NM

Published on August 29, 2019

September 26th, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
NMSU Agricultural Science Center
Los Lunas, NM

Join Emily May, Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, at the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas for this interactive workshop that will guide participants through the observation, identification, and ecology of pollinators and beneficial insects. Emily May will be joined by Miranda Kersten, Sr. Program Specialist with NMSU ASC, and Amanda Skidmore, Urban/Small Farm IPM Extension Specialist with NMSU ASC, to discuss management practices that support pollinators and beneficial insects in home gardens and on farms. The workshop will include a field tour of wildflower mixes being tested at the Agricultural Science Center for attracting and supporting pollinators.

Click here for more information and to register.


How to Support Pollinators in Northern New Mexico – Alcalde, NM

Published on August 27, 2019

September 24th, 2019
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center
Alcalde, NM

Join us at the NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center for an interactive workshop that will guide participants through the observation, identification, and ecology of pollinators. Emily May, Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, and Adrienne Rosenberg of NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center will be discussing topics including pollinator habitat needs, environmental stressors, community science opportunities for pollinator monitoring, and how to create more high value habitat for pollinators in northern New Mexico. The workshop will include a field tour of wildflower mixes being tested at the Science Center for attracting and supporting pollinators. Don Martinez of NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, Rio Arriba County will facilitate the workshop. The workshop has a $5 participation fee and pre-registration (by September 23rd) is required. Light refreshments will be provided.

To register, please contact Jaime Taylor at the Rio Arriba County Extension Office at (505) 685-4523.


People crouch to plant native vegetation in this low-angle photo.

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – August 2019

Published on August 26, 2019

Select updates from our team of restoration ecologists, entomologists, plant ecologists, and researchers. August’s featured staff conducted a successful pollinator habitat workshop in Nebraska, and have been busy building beetle banks in Iowa.


The Organic Farming Conference – Mt. Hope, OH

Published on August 13, 2019

November 7th – 8th, 2019
Mt. Hope Event Center
Mt. Hope, OH

Join Stephanie Frischie, Agronomist and Native Plant Materials Specialist with the Xerces Society, for The Organic Farming Conference, where she will deliver the keynote presentation on pollinators.

Click here for more information.


Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

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

Published on August 5, 2019

The Xerces Society’s new fact sheet, Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators, reviews the current literature on fungicides and pollinators to help piece together potential risks and how best to respond.


Central Washington pollinator habitat planting - Xerces Society

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – June 2019

Published on June 27, 2019

June’s featured staff share their work with inspiring partners spanning large-scale agriculture, to family farms, to a unique urban agriculture fellowship program. These stories are from all across the country, from central Washington, to Wisconsin, to Virginia.


Establishing Pollinator Habitat at Scattergood Friends School Farm – West Branch, IA

Published on June 25, 2019

September 17th, 2019
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Scattergood Friends School Farm
West Branch, IA

Come learn from Scattergood staff and students, as well as Xerces Society Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist Sarah Foltz Jordan, about the why, when, where and how of pollinator habitat design and installation. Mark and Sarah will address farmer concerns about weed control using organic methods. They will also discuss plugs versus seeds and habitat management. Sarah Nizzi, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS partner biologist with Xerces, will join to offer insights about cost-share opportunities available through farm bill programs.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.


Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Sign

Let’s Make Every Week Pollinator Week!

Published on June 23, 2019

Without a doubt, every week is Pollinator Week here at the Xerces Society. Our staff are consistently working with farmers, public land managers, suburban park managers, and gardeners, providing guidance on planning and creating habitat. Here are a variety of ways to support our efforts to conserve these vital invertebrates throughout the year—no matter where you live!


Monarch - Xerces Society

Working to Conserve Monarchs from Coast to Coast

Published on June 21, 2019

The migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) is an awe-inspiring sight that heralds the changing seasons across much of North America. Sadly, these inspiring migrations have experienced significant declines in the past few decades. 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

Published on June 20, 2019

Seventy percent of native bee species in the United States are ground nesting. Providing nesting sites (they are drawn to sunny, bare soil) and reducing or eliminating pesticide use is key to supporting these important pollinators.


Managing Invertebrate-Friendly Gardens

Published on June 19, 2019

Many Xerces Society members create wildlife gardens that are particularly hospitable to invertebrates, and among them are some wonderful examples. I recently spoke with Bert and Betty Feingold, Lenora Larson, and Dennis Krusac and Jacqueline Belwood to find out more about how these dedicated gardeners care for insects in their own backyards.


Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas Project Aims to Engage Community Scientists in Tracking Bumble Bees

Published on June 18, 2019

A new project provides an opportunity for community scientists to work alongside researchers to better understand the status of Nebraska’s bumble bees. The state is home to nearly 20 different species of these charismatic and easily recognizable bees. The Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas is spearheaded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Ashland, Oregon - Bee City USA

Bee City USA: Galvanizing Communities to Reverse Pollinator Decline

Published on June 17, 2019

It is imperative that we change our idea of a desirable landscape away from one of large green lawns treated with chemicals and bordered by predominantly exotic plants to one of a diversity of native plants free of pesticides. This effort takes place one person, one neighborhood, and one community at a time, and the most successful affiliates recognize that becoming a Bee City is not a short-term commitment.


Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat sign

Bring Back the Pollinators During National Pollinator Week

Published on

Celebrate Pollinator Week by committing to bring back the pollinators! Our Bring Back the Pollinators campaign is based on the fact that pollinators need only a few things, which anyone can provide in a remarkably small space: flowers from which to drink nectar and gather pollen, a place to lay eggs or build a nest, and freedom from pesticides.


Four Native Bumble Bees Are Poised to be the First Pollinators Protected Under the California Endangered Species Act

Published on June 1, 2019

An upcoming vote of the California Fish and Game Commission could set in motion the listing of four species of native bumble bees as endangered, sealing their fate for survival. The vote to accept the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recommendation to grant these four pollinators “candidate species” status under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) is scheduled for June 12 in Redding. This process was triggered by a legal petition filed by conservation and food safety groups requesting that the western bumble bee, Franklin’s bumble bee, Crotch’s bumble bee and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee are listed as Endangered under the act.


Monarch and golden soldier beetle on thistle

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019

Published on May 30, 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.


Bugfest – Raleigh, NC

Published on May 22, 2019

September 21st, 2019
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Raleigh, NC

Join Phyllis Stiles, Bee City USA Founder and Pollinator Champion with the Xerces Society, and Nancy Adamson, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, along with about 30,000 bug-loving friends for a Raleigh tradition! Phyllis and Nancy will host a kid-friendly table about pollinators. North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Sciences hosts over 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities. Meet entomologists and other scientists and learn about the fascinating world of bugs. You can visit Café Insecta to sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. Free and everyone is welcome!

Click here for more information.


Conservation Biological Control - Xerces Society

Reflecting on a Multi-Year Conservation Biological Control Project

Published on May 9, 2019

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-ranging results.


Flowering clover in almond orchard

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – April 2019

Published on April 30, 2019

April’s featured staff are all Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planners, and are spread across the country—driving the adoption of cover cropping in California, guiding blueberry farmers to become more pollinator-friendly in Maine, and raising awareness of the importance of rangeland for pollinator conservation in North Dakota.


Long-horned bee

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

Published on April 26, 2019

Earth Week is an inspiring time, brimming with opportunities to make a difference in the days following Earth Day—and beyond. If you want to mobilize your city or county to make room for pollinators, then the Xerces Society’s initiative, Bee City USA, may have the formula you need. Bee City USA founder Phyllis Stiles explains how to get your community certified.


Honoring Robbin Thorp, a Legendary Figure in North American Bee Conservation

Published on April 24, 2019

Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus at University of California–Davis, has made lasting contributions to the bee conservation community in ways that might never be measured, but will certainly be felt. As such, it is fitting to recognize this living legend of North American bumble bee conservation during Earth Week.


Bee Better Certified pollinator habitat at Erdman Family Farms

Bee Better Certified Engages the Almond Industry

Published on April 22, 2019

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—and what better time to celebrate this program’s growth than during Earth Week?


Earth Week - Xerces Society

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

Published on

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

Published on April 10, 2019

The Xerces Society’s blog post “Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum” highlighted the lack of research on this topic, which limits our ability to make informed choices regarding the use of cultivars for supporting pollinators and other beneficial insects. To help address this knowledge gap, Budburst launched the Nativars research project in 2018.


Bee Better Certified: An Evolving Standard

Published on March 22, 2019

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.


Pollinator Garden

Mitigating the Effects of Heat on Urban Pollinators

Published on March 6, 2019

By coming together with others in our communities who care about climate change—and working to increase the numbers of those who care—we will be able to bring about the changes that are needed before it’s too late for our pollinators.


North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University Hedgerow

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – February 2019

Published on February 25, 2019

February’s featured staff member has been working on a hedgerow featuring diverse native species in North Carolina.


Cedaroak Trillium Garden

Cedaroak Park Primary School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities

Published on February 11, 2019

Being assigned to create an interpretive panel for Cedaroak Park Primary School, where I attended grade school, was a special experience.


Yellow Banded Bumble Bee

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – January 2019

Published on January 28, 2019

January’s featured staff have been working on establishing pollinator habitat with a multi-year hedgerow project in California’s Central Valley; and, in Maine, collaborating with a diverse array of partners and stakeholders to both facilitate habitat restoration for native bees and navigate the ins and outs of the Endangered Species Act.


Long horned bee on plains coreopsis

Pollinators and the 2018 Farm Bill 

Published on January 10, 2019

Although we did not get everything we wanted in the 2018 Farm Bill, the very good news is that pollinators are still a priority for the USDA and the Natural Resource Conservation Service—and formal commitments to support conservation efforts are now in effect for at least the next five years.


Xerces Society habitat planting in California's Central Valley

Climate News Round-Up: January 2019

Published on January 3, 2019

Climate change is an unprecedented global challenge. The magnitude of the problem and the consequences of inaction can be overwhelming, but there is still time to act. While the federal government is rolling back some of the progress that has been made in reducing carbon emissions, many cities, states, and businesses around the country remain committed to climate action. We can build on this momentum and support further action.


Pollinator habitat at a Tree Top Grower's orchard

Businesses Aligning with the Life that Sustains Us

Published on December 20, 2018

The trend of business owners aligning with social and environmental causes is on the rise. Here at the Xerces Society, we are feeling these benefits—and are very thankful for the support.


Prairie wildflowers

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – December 2018

Published on December 17, 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.


Where Do Pollinators Go in the Winter?

Published on December 10, 2018

As the leaves and temperatures drop, it might be tempting to forget about your pollinator garden until spring. But don’t call it quits just yet! While it may seem like the bees have vanished for the year, they haven’t actually gone anywhere.


Rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018

Published on December 3, 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

Published on November 27, 2018

To mitigate the impacts of climate change we need to increase the amount of high-quality and resilient habitat everywhere. Natural areas are the glue that holds all other habitat together, but for insects even small patches in connected networks within agricultural, suburban, urban, and other landscapes can be beneficial. Whether you are a gardener, a farmer, or the manager of a park or nature reserve, you can take action to protect and restore habitat. Xerces has resources to help on our website.


Aster

Fall Garden Tips to Benefit Bumble Bees All Year

Published on October 30, 2018

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


Funastrum cynanchoides

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2018

Published on October 23, 2018

Select updates from our team of restoration ecologists, entomologists, plant ecologists, and researchers.


Squash bee (Xenoglossa)

Can Robobees Solve the Pollination Crisis?

Published on September 17, 2018

The problem is more complex than just crops. At least 85 percent of all terrestrial plant species either require or strongly benefit from some form of animal pollination, and the idea of robotic pollinators ignores the many wild plants in meadows, prairies, hedgerows, and forests. 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.


Surprising Results from a Survey of Bumble Bee Watch Users!

Published on May 23, 2018

This past February, Bumble Bee Watch (BBW) users were invited to take a survey run by York University researchers to learn more about participant demographics, motives, and confidence with bumble bee identification. Three hundred forty-two people from across Canada and the United States responded to the survey, representing members of various ages, locations, and years Read more …


From the Field: Trees for Bees

Published on May 15, 2018

Last Friday, I visited Mt. Cuba Center botanical garden in Hockessin, DE to give a presentation. Over the past few years, I have had the honor of being invited to Mt. Cuba to talk about pollinators, beneficial insects, and different steps we can all take to improve habitat for these important animals. Each time I Read more …


Bee Friendlier With Your Lawncare

Published on May 6, 2018

A lush, green, weed-free lawn is as American as apple pie. It tells the whole neighborhood that you are a competent, hard-working, contributing member of society. Dandelions and overgrown lawn are a sign of neglect, incompetence, and laziness – or so our traditional American landscape would have you believe. Americans have a love affair with Read more …


Planting for Pollinators: Button Bush

Published on October 26, 2017

  This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Button Bush Cephalanthus occidentalis A popular cultivar of button bush is ‘Sputnik’ and when you see Read more …


Common Ground Country Fair- Unity, ME

Published on September 20, 2017

September 22nd, 2017
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Common Ground Country Fair
Unity, ME

Join Eric Venturini, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservationist and NRCS Partner Biologist for The Xerces Society, for his talk entitled “Pollinators and Beneficials on the Farm, and How to Use Them”.

Click here for more information and to register.


Gardening For Moths

Published on July 21, 2017

Few people take notice of moths, despite their close relationship with butterflies. Even fewer people intentionally create gardens for them. The muted colors of many species, along with the reputation of a tiny fraction of them as crop or wardrobe pests has done little to endear moths to the average gardener.  But the truth is that moths are a beautiful and interesting wildlife group that anyone can attract to a garden.


Small Farms, Big Impact: Pollinator Habitat in the Midwest

Published on June 23, 2017

This article originally appeared in our Spring 2017 issue of Wings – available here “Prairie!” Just that one word in the subject line of an email from Erin, a Minnesota vegetable farmer with whom I am working, and I knew it was going to be a great message. The email itself was a series of photographs Read more …


On-Farm Pollinator Habitat Benefits for Watermelon Pollination – Webinar

Published on January 20, 2017

February 28th, 2017
11:00 AM PST
https://learn.extension.org/events/2952

This webinar will provide an overview of strategies to promote pollinators within annual rotational croplands in California. The focus will be on recent advances to establish native wildflower plantings and how these can positively contribute to promoting bees and crop pollination. Although examples will primarily be for watermelon many aspects are likely to apply to row crops more generally. The webinar will include a discussion of pollination benefits and also consider potential benefits and risks associated with pest management.

Click here for more information and to register.


General Mills, NRCS and the Xerces Society Announce Multi-Year, $4 Million Investment in Pollinator Habitat

Published on November 30, 2016

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Mollie Wulff, General Mills; (763) 764-6340 ; [email protected] Kaveh Sadeghzadeh, NRCS; (202) 720-2182; [email protected] Scott Black, Xerces Society, (503) 449-3792, [email protected]   General Mills, NRCS and the Xerces Society Announce Multi-Year, $4 Million Investment in Pollinator Habitat Organizations share commitment to help pollinators prosper WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2016—General Mills, the Read more …


[VIDEO] Western Bumblebee no longer in Willamette Valley

Published on June 28, 2016

Though Oregon may be experiencing a population boom, there is at least one group that is no longer found anywhere in the Willamette Valley. The Western Bumblebee. “Western Bumblebee used to be one of the 3 most common species in Oregon,” said Sarina Jepsen of the Xerces Society in Portland. “It’s really declined dramatically and Read more …