pollinators


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).


Bee-loved Plantings for Pollination & Pest Management – Pembroke, NC

Published on

October 17th, 2019
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
UNCP Thomas Center HUB
Pembroke, NC

Join Nancy Adamson, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, to learn how plantings for pollinators also support other beneficial insects that help reduce crop pests, other wildlife, and keep our watersheds healthy. This workshop will highlight common pollinators and other agriculturally beneficial insects, plantings that provide pollen, nectar, and shelter, and ways to improve habitat management through the year.

Click here for more information.


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.


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.


Pollinator Conservation in Agricultural Landscapes – Puyallup, WA

Published on

November 19th, 2019
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center
Puyallup, WA

Join Eric Lee-Mader, Pollinator Program Co-Director with the Xerces Soceity, and Corin Pease, Pollinator Conservation Planner with the Xerces Society, for this full day workshop. This course will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators and beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes. This course will provide an overview of the farm practices that support pollinators and beneficial insects, such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators.

Click here for more information and to register.


Inviting Wildlife into the Garden – Hoickessin, DE

Published on September 6, 2019

September 13, 2019
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Mt. Cuba Center
Hoickessin, DE

Join Kelly Gill, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, for her presentation on pollinators and beneficial insects at this speaker series. The series will focus on transforming your landscape into a garden that attracts a wealth of beneficial wildlife, including birds, bees, butterflies, and amphibians. Unlock the important connections between the roles of pollinators, the habitats they require, and the plants that feed them. Explore Mt. Cuba Center’s naturalistic gardens to observe native bees in action, and discover the best native plants for migrating and resident birds. Learn ways to include water features that support amphibians, damselflies, and bats, and create habitats that sustain wildlife year-round. Please note that this is a multiple speaker series event and pre-registration is required. Kelly will be presenting at the September 13th session.

Click here for more information and to register.


Build Your Refuge Day – Albuquerque, NM

Published on

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 [email protected]


Succeeding with Pollinator Plantings: the Bees, the Bugs, and the Basics – Oxford, ME

Published on August 29, 2019

September 20th, 2019
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Hooker Family Farm
Oxford, ME

Join Eric Venturini, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservationist and NRCS Partner Biologist with the Xerces Society, for this workshop hosted by the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District to learn about pollinators and beneficial insects and the key roles they play in our food systems. Eric will cover the basic ecology and identification of pollinator and beneficial insect groups, the status of pollinators in Maine, and discuss what you can do to help support pollinators on your farm and in your region.

Click here for more information and to register.


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

Published on

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.


Cleveland Pollinator & Native Plant Symposium – Cleveland, OH

Published on August 27, 2019

September 20th, 2019
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland, OH

Join Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society, for a full day of enlightening and energizing presentations by eight renowned experts in the fields of landscape design, with a focus on pollinators, and native plants. Explore the importance of restoring our increasingly fragmented and disappearing native habitats beginning in our own backyards—whether large or small. Scott will be delivering a talk at 11:15 AM titled: Insect Apocalypse? What is Really Happening, Why it Matters and How we Can Help. Registration for the full day event is required.

Click here for more information and to register.


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

Published on

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.


Bees, Trees, & Clean Water – Afton, VA

Published on August 16, 2019

September 14th, 2019
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Rockfish Valley Community Center
Afton, VA

Join Nancy Lee Adamson, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, Chris Gyurisin of the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, Sarah Hagan of Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, Nelson County Master Gardener Herb Thomas, and Robert Jennings of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to learn about planting for pollinators, water quality, and Virginia’s cost share program for turf reduction. After lunch, the group will visit a native meadow converted from turf and kick seine in Mallory Creek. Kick seining is a way of collecting aquatic insects from stream bottoms—the presence of certain species tells us how clean the water is.

Click here for more information and to register.


Plantings to Support Pollination and Pest Management – Asheville, NC

Published on August 15, 2019

September 26th, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Aroboretum Education Center
Asheville, NC

Join Stanton Gill of University of Maryland Extension, Nancy Lee Adamson of the Xerces Society, and other instructors for a day-long Integrated Pest Management Symposium. Nancy’s program caps the day highlighting native grasses, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that attract pollinators, predators and parasitoids to improve production and reduce pesticide use. She will also discuss cover crops, annuals, and herbs that also support wildlife diversity and help prevent pest outbreaks.

Click here for more information and to register.


Xerces Ambassadors: Animals on the Bay Day – San Diego, CA

Published on

October 13th, 2019
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Living Coast Discovery Center
San Diego, CA

Join Xerces Ambassadors to discover the invertebrates of the bay! Learn how to identify an invertebrate, find out what pollinators live in your backyard, and find out how to get involved in community science.

Click here for more information.


Xerces Ambassadors: Sauvie Island Jubilee – Portland, OR

Published on August 7, 2019

September 28th, 2019
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Howell Territorial Park
Portland, OR

Join Rachel Dunham, Community Engagement Coordinator at the Xerces Society, and Xerces Ambassadors at the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District’s 75th Anniversary Sauvie Island Jubilee. Be sure to stop by the Xerces table to celebrate harvest season and learn about the pollinators that help bring you the food and drink you love!

Click here for more information.


Xerces Ambassadors: OMSI Biodiversity Event – Portland, OR

Published on

September 21st, 2019
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Portland, OR

Join Xerces Ambassadors at OMSI to learn about the diversity of insects and how they benefit our planet and our lives.

Click here for more information.


Xerces Ambassadors: Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair – Vancouver, WA

Published on

September 14th, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Esther Short Park
Vancouver, WA

Join Rachel Dunham, Community Engagement Coordinator at the Xerces Society, and Xerces Ambassadors to learn about the animals that sustain our lives: invertebrates. Find out how you can get involved in community science and help conserve our planet.

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.


A blueberry carton with the Bee Better Certified seal is pictured

Arriving in Stores: Bee Better Certified Blueberries

Published on July 11, 2019

In partnership with AC Foods and Oregon Tilth, we’re pleased to announce the arrival of California Giant brand Bee Better Certified organic blueberries. Sourced from farms near Independence, Oregon and arriving soon at a variety of grocery stores, these berries represent tremendous dedication and conservation ethic by the farms that produced them.


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.


Brown-belted bumble bee (Bombus griseocollis)

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

Published on June 18, 2019

To help further our understanding of, and conservation efforts for, bumble bees, the Xerces Society has launched the Nebraska Bumble Bee Atlas. This community science project offers locals the opportunity to work alongside researchers to collect data that will shed light on the distribution, status, and habitat needs of Nebraska’s bumble bees.


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

Published on

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.


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.


Garden Gloves & Weeds

Pesticide-Free Gardening Tips for Earth Week and Beyond

Published on April 23, 2019

In a home garden, the Xerces Society urges people to consider non-chemical pest management. To meet this challenge, 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 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.


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.


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.


Supporting Pollinators and Beneficial Insects on Your Farm – St. Paul, MN

Published on

January 26th, 2019
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Continuing Education and Conference Center
St. Paul, MN

Join Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Conservation Planner & NRCS Partner Biologist with the Xerces Society, at the annual Emerging Farmers Conference – an event that serves to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses. This innovative conference focuses primarily on the needs and interests of farmers of color and immigrant farmers, and supports their contributions to local economic development and building healthy communities. Karin and Elaine Evans (University of Minnesota) will be presenting on habitat development for pollinators and beneficial insects.

Click here for more information and to register.


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.


Swallowtail butterfly

The Striking Beauty of Oklahoma’s Butterflies

Published on November 9, 2018

Oklahoma’s impressive butterfly fauna of more than 170 species includes the nation’s largest (the giant swallowtail) and the smallest (the western pygmy blue), and representatives of all six major butterfly families: Papilionidae (swallowtails), Pieridae (whites and sulphurs), Lycaenidae (gossamerwings), Hesperiidae (skippers), Riodinidae (metalmarks), and Nymphalidae (brush-foots).


Adonis Blue Butterfly

Ups and Downs of English Chalk Grasslands

Published on November 1, 2018

About a third of Britain’s sixty resident butterfly species may be encountered on chalk grasslands, including small skipper, green hairstreak, small copper, meadow brown, Duke of Burgundy, and marbled white, but it is a handful of blues—common, chalkhill, small, and Adonis—that may be most characteristic of this habitat.


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.


Viceroy and Red-spotted Purple hybrid, Limenitis archippus archippus X

My First Hybrid: Limenitis archippus archippus × Limenitis arthemis astyanax

Published on October 25, 2018

Recently, photographer Bryan E. Reynolds encountered a rare hybrid of two of his favorite butterfly species—a well-deserved sighting for a passionate lepidopterist!


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.


Western Bumble Bee

The Xerces Society Seeks Endangered Species Protections for California Bumble Bees

Published on October 16, 2018

Protecting these species is not only the right thing to do; it will also help to maintain the healthy ecosystems that make California such a remarkable and productive state.


Apples

Celebrate Invertebrates During National Apple Month

Published on October 10, 2018

We owe our beautiful autumn apple harvest to invertebrates—pollinators and beneficial insects alike. No matter how you obtain your apples—whether you pick them yourself, grab them at the grocery store, or go bobbing for them—it is important to take a moment to remember the invertebrates that make this delicious harvest possible.


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.


Bumble Bee Die-Off Under Investigation in Virginia

Published on June 21, 2018

Pollinator week is set at an ideal time in mid-June. People around the country are enjoying the profusion of pollinators visiting the flowering plants in and around their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, bee kill incidents have marred what should be a week of celebration. Here in my own state of Oregon, between 2013 – 2015, there were Read more …


Rain Gardens Are a Win/Win

Published on April 4, 2018

When it rains, where does the water go? Many erroneously assume storm water is captured, treated, and returned to the water supply. In fact, this is not the case in municipal water systems, where the cost and difficulty associated with treating stormwater makes such a prospect untenable. The reality is that the rain that pours Read more …


Autumn Pollinators in Oklahoma

Published on November 14, 2017

In my opinion, the best time to be in Oklahoma is late summer and fall.  The huge number of bees and butterflies visiting our flowers provides endless enjoyment to pollinator watchers like my kids and I.  This fall, I’ve spent my free time rearing and tagging monarchs and looking for nectar plants that monarchs prefer Read more …


Going Beyond the Bloom: Don’t Be Just A Flower-Weather Friend

Published on November 10, 2017

As cooler temperatures sweep across the Northeast, it can be easy to put thoughts of blooms, bees, and butterflies to bed until next spring. I think we can agree that many of us reserve visits to meadows, gardens, and other flower-rich habitats for warm, sunny days, so we can enjoy the diversity and beauty of Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Blazingstar

Published on August 9, 2017

This post is part of a 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. Blazingstar   Liatris spp. Blazing star species are butterfly magnets. When in bloom it’s not unusual to see clusters Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Wild Senna

Published on August 2, 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. Wild Senna Senna marilandica, Senna hebecarpa Wild senna is a large perennial with the distinctive foliage and Read more …


White-lined sphinx moth pollinating a thistle by night

To Protect Moths—Turn Out the Lights!

Published on July 27, 2017

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 Lepidoptera species. In celebration of Moth Week we’re sharing the following excerpt from our book Gardening For Butterflies, which includes a chapter on moths and what you can do to attract and support them.


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.


Midsummer Management of Pests and Pollinators

Published on July 13, 2017

It’s summer and organic farmers across the U.S. are in the thick of managing weeds and pests. Right now, many of you are getting ready to till out crabgrass, treating crops to control flea beetles or squash bugs, or maybe wishing you had chosen a different cover crop or crop rotation. When making decisions about Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Figwort

Published on July 5, 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. Figwort Scrophularia spp. The odds are pretty good that you’ve never encountered figwort, or if you have Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Cup Plant

Published on June 28, 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. Cup Plant, Compass Plant, Rosinweed Silhpium spp. Cup plant, compass plant, and rosin weed are common names Read more …


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 …


Protecting Pollinators One Community at a Time

Published on June 22, 2017

Pollinator week provides a time for us all to reflect on how we can help restore the amazing and diverse pollinator species so inextricably linked to our survival. While the task of bringing back the pollinators can seem daunting, if we focus on our own communities, we really can make a difference. We’ve provided ideas Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Beardtongue

Published on June 8, 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. Beardtongue Penstemon spp. Beardtongue gets its name for the hairs that line the protruding lower petal of Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Culver’s Root

Published on May 24, 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. Culver’s Root Veranicastrum virginicum spp. Culver’s Root has largely been ignored by beekeepers and gardeners, but has Read more …


Plants you can eat are a pollinator treat

Published on May 17, 2017

If you enjoy growing cucumbers, squash, melons, and other insect pollinated crops, you already know the necessity of having some pollinator pals around. Setting aside part of your vegetable garden specifically for pollinators provides direct benefits in the form of larger, more abundant, and better formed fruits and vegetables. But even fruits and vegetables that Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Pearly Everlasting

Published on May 5, 2017

It’s National Wildflower Week! The first week in May is a time to celebrate our native wildflowers and the pollinators they support. 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 Read more …


Obligate Mutualism Blooms in the Desert

Published on April 18, 2017

Tikaboo Valley, Nevada. Home of the Extraterrestrial Highway, the infamous black mailbox, UFO seekers, cattle ranchers, and desert wanderers. Nestled between three mountain ranges and notorious Area 51, Tikaboo is also home to those bizarre Mojave residents known as Joshua trees. These spiky, Dr. Seuss-like plants provide critical food, moisture, and refuge to an incredible Read more …


Staff Story: The Tickle Bees of Sabin Elementary

Published on April 10, 2017

In the summer of 2009, my family and I moved into a house across from the Sabin Elementary School in Northeast Portland, Oregon. Our daughter started kindergarten at the school that fall. As other school parents learned of my work in pollinator conservation, they would occasionally ask me if I’d ever seen the “tickle bees.” Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Violets

Published on April 7, 2017

This post is part of a 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. Common Blue Violet Viola sororia Violets are often bemoaned as “weeds” when found in lawns, and otherwise impugned for Read more …


Don’t spring into garden cleanup too soon!

Published on April 4, 2017

Spring is here. A time when warmer weather naturally turns a winter-weary homeowner’s thoughts towards tackling outdoor chores. The first warm weather of the season may coax us out into the yard, but pollinators in your garden aren’t ready to take a chance on the first warm day. Chrysalides still cling to last season’s dried Read more …


Write Your Rep! Less Mowing, More Monarchs

Published on March 31, 2017

We’ve made the case that roadsides can be managed for pollinators, while maintaining erosion control, keeping roads safe, improving water quality, and saving money! Now it’s time to make the case to lawmakers, so that they can change the way their state manages roadsides for multiple benefits, including helping bees, butterflies, and other insects. We’ve Read more …


Pollinator Conservation at 60 MPH

Published on March 12, 2017

This entry originally appeared in the January 2017 Committee on Transportation and Ecology Newsletter. Speeding down the freeway with the landscape flashing by, thoughts of pollinators may be limited to a brief glimpse of honey bee hives in an orchard, a bright patch of flowers beside the road, or an unfortunate butterfly tossed in the Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Pussy Willow

Published on March 1, 2017

This post is part of a 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. Pussy Willow Salix discolor Pussy willow is much loved by florists and decorators eager to bring some of the natural Read more …


Producing Wildflower Seed in the Age of Superweeds

Published on January 24, 2017

“It’s disappointing to see this problem associated with conservation seed mixes.” That’s the response from a friend and native seed producer when I mentioned the news that Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), a highly invasive noxious weed has now appeared in several states across the Midwest. The weed was possibly introduced outside of its native range Read more …


The 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year, and Other Milkweeds You Should Know

Published on January 23, 2017

Each year since 1990, the Perennial Plant Association has designated a “Perennial Plant of the Year.” The designation has become well known amongst growers, landscapers, gardeners, and others who eagerly await the announcement each year. Selection often launches the chosen plant into the mainstream, making it more widely available. While the association has often favored Read more …


New Report: How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees

Published on December 14, 2016

The plight of pollinators has grabbed the public’s attention, helped by media stories of parasites, pesticide poisonings, and deserts of urban and agricultural lands where little to no forage can be found. Most experts agree that the startling declines of native bee and butterfly populations, as well as the high annual losses of managed honey Read more …


$4 Million to Help Pollinator Habitat!

Published on December 1, 2016

On Wednesday, November 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and General Mills announced that they were together making a five-year, $4 million financial commitment to support the creation and protection of pollinator habitat on America’s farmlands. Thanks to this funding, the Xerces Society will add six pollinator conservation specialists, who will work jointly with the Read more …


Put Down Those Pruners: Pollinators Need Your ‘Garden Garbage!’

Published on October 21, 2016

It should be welcome news for weary gardeners. You’ve weeded, tilled, and toiled under the hot sun all summer long, and now — it’s time to stop. For many, however, the temptation to pick, pluck, and prune the landscape to make it neat and tidy for the winter is too hard to ignore. This impulse Read more …


Celebrate Apples by Celebrating Their Pollinators!

Published on October 7, 2016

Cut an apple in half through the middle. What do you see? Do you notice a star-shaped cluster of seeds? Those seeds are the result of the hard work done by a tiny pollinator many months ago. If there are two seeds in each of the five points, the apple was completely pollinated, meaning enough Read more …


Pollinator Conservation in Agriculture

Published on September 9, 2016

Recently, conservationists have been discussing the role of agriculture in helping pollinators—and for good reason. About half of the U.S. land base is in agriculture. If we want to truly provide for a long-term future for pollinators, we must work with farmers. Farms come in all shapes and sizes, from small, family-run operations to vast Read more …


Scanning the Horizon for Pollinator Threats and Opportunities

Published on August 9, 2016

The global fate of pollinators rests firmly in the hands of Big Ag according to research published in the journal PeerJ, which identified the most serious future threats and opportunities facing pollinating species. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination was authored by an international team of scientists and conservationists Read more …


Moths are cool too!

Published on July 25, 2016

Given their muted colors, erroneous reputation as pests, and the nocturnal nature of many species, most people fail to take notice of moths — let alone celebrate them. Enter National Moth Week. NMW was started by moth-minded scientists and environmentalists in 2011 as a citizen science project celebrating moths and biodiversity. “Moth-ers” of all ages Read more …


Senator Merkley Unveils New Proposal to Help Restore Pollinator Populations Across the U.S.

Published on June 23, 2016

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley has unveiled a new proposal to help restore pollinator populations across America. Released during National Pollinator Week, The Pollinator Recovery Act of 2016 discussion draft will provide the public and stakeholders with the opportunity to engage in the legislative process and comment on key policy provisions in the bill. Xerces Society Read more …


Bumble Bees and Baptisia: A Pollination Story

Published on June 21, 2016

Plants use many “tricks” to entice insects into the work of pollination. The shape, color, and bloom period of a plant’s flowers can greatly influence who their potential pollinator mate may be. Such is the case when considering the relationship between bumble bees and flowers in the genus Baptisia. There are two plants of the Read more …


Farm by Farm: 150 Pollinator Habitat Projects

Published on June 20, 2016

Ensuring that pollinators and other beneficial insects have safe, high-quality habitat has been the cornerstone of the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program over the last two decades. Xerces has built a team of experts that work tirelessly toward this goal across a range of landscapes, including gardens, roadsides, parks, golf courses, and natural areas, but Read more …


Partnering for Pollinators

Published on

The Xerces Society works with many partners in pollinator conservation. These partners include local, state, and federal agencies; farmers; land managers; seed companies; other conservation groups; and volunteers. We’re thankful for the support of these partnerships which make large-scale pollinator conservation efforts possible. Below is a sampling of partnership projects from the past year. Port Read more …


The Value of Protecting Pollinators

Published on June 9, 2016

If you’re reading this, chances are you have at least a passing interest in protecting pollinators.  Maybe you are motivated by Colony Collapse Disorder and its impact on honey bee populations. Maybe you’re a farmer who’s primary interest is in crop yields. Perhaps you’re a naturalist who is interested in the ecological benefits of pollinators. Read more …


Celebrate Pollinators!

Published on June 6, 2016

Pollinators bring us the wildflowers of spring, the berries of summer, the pumpkins we carve into jack-o’-lanterns in fall. Our dinner tables would be less enticing without them: approximately three-quarters of crop plant species need a bee or other pollinator, which translates to roughly one-third of the food and drink that we consume. More than Read more …


Xerces in Your Grocery Store: Working to Make the Food You Eat Better for Bees

Published on May 25, 2016

Over the past decade the Xerces Society has helped farmers contribute to the creation of over 250,000 acres of pollinator habitat nationwide (and to reduce pesticide use on those lands), but it has been challenging to track food produced on that cropland all the way to the plate. To better connect consumers with products that Read more …


Helping Pollinators on the Road to Survival

Published on March 30, 2016

On Monday, March 28, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a memo regarding the pollinator provisions in section 1415 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and announcing the release of “Pollinators and Roadsides: Best Management Practices for Managers and Decision Makers.” The report can be read on the FHWA web site, Read more …


Research Update: Are bee diseases linked to pesticides?

Published on February 16, 2016

The issue of pesticide impacts on bees is of key interest to many people. In time, we’ll also be gathering this information onto a page on our web site. The recently published article, Are bee diseases linked to pesticides?—A brief review (Sanchez-Bayo et al. 2016), infused valuable insights into the discussion about pollinator decline. The Read more …