Pollinator Conservation

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species. The United States alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators, and the economic value of these native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems. Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25% of all birds, and of mammals ranging from red-backed voles to grizzly bears. In many places, the essential service of pollination is at risk from habitat loss, pesticide use, and introduced diseases.

To learn more about the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program, please click here to download a summary of our work. For even more information, please see our 2016 Bring Back the Pollinators Report.

Learn About Your Landscape:

Find conservation information specific to your area of care.

Take Action

Bring Back the Pollinators

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Bring Back the Pollinators is based on four simple principles that can be implemented in any landscape. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

The Pollinator Conservation Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Attracting Native Pollinators

The Xerces Society’s comprehensive book, reflecting the latest understanding about creating and managing pollinator habitat. Learn more.

Our Work

Check out some of the work our pollinator conservation team has been doing!

Upcoming Events

NCAP’s 8th Annual Organic Farming Conference – Twin Falls, ID

February 8th, 2017
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Canyon Crest Event Center
Twin Falls, ID

Join Jessa Kay Cruz, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, for a day-long workshop entitled "Farming with Beneficial Insects & Pollinators". This workshop is being held as part of the 2-day NCAP 8th Annual Organic Farming Conference. Discover new tools that can be modified for any production system. Celebrate the organic farming community in Idaho. Gain information on organic certification for each stage of the transition process. Showcase farmers who have successfully transitioned to organic grain production. Learn how to create native beneficial insect refuges to reap the benefits of biological pest control. Build a stronger Idaho organic production system.

Click here for more information and to register.

Pollinating Apples and Cherries East of the Rockies – Webinar

February 14th, 2017
11:00 AM PST

Apples and cherries would not be possible without the contribution of bees. This talk will review what it takes to achieve adequate pollination of apples and cherries in Eastern North America, the roles of managed and wild pollinators in these production systems, and practical guidelines for supporting pollinators in orchards. Results from recent studies in Michigan and Pennsylvania orchards will be used to illustrate these concepts.

Click here for more information and to register.

2017 NOFA-VT Winter Conference – Burlington, VT

February 18-20, 2017
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM (Workshop Session Two), Sunday, February 19th
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT

Conservation Biocontrol: Farming with Native Beneficial Insects with Jarrod Fowler - Conservation biological control is a science-based pest management strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into cropping systems for natural pest control, ultimately reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for insecticides. The workshop will cover the principles of Conservation Biological Control and how to support beneficial insects on farms through habitat enhancements, farm management practices, pesticide protections, and other conservation strategies.

Click here for more information and to register.

Wild Ones Annual Conference: Designing with Nature – St. Paul, MN

February 18th, 2017
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus
St. Paul, MN

This day-long conference includes a keynote by Doug Tallamy, entomologist and author of Bringing Nature Home. Stop by the Xerces booth for new resources on native nectar plants for monarchs and other guidance.

Click here for more information and to register.

Bringing Back the Pollinators: Conservation in the Age of Climate Change – Webinar

February 22nd, 2017
12:00 pm US/Eastern

Pollinators are an indispensable part of a healthy environment and a secure food supply. Despite their recognized importance, until recent years, little attention was given to the conservation of pollinators and now some are in decline. Many species of bumble bees are at risk of extinction, and monarch butterfly populations have declined by more than 80 percent. Loss of habitat, widespread use of pesticides, and disease and parasites are among the leading causes of these declines. Although we do not know the full role of climate change in pollinator declines, data suggests climate resilient habitats will help conserve pollinators.

Many practitioners and land management agencies are interested in restoring and managing habitat for pollinators. Understanding how climate change will impact both the pollinators and their habitats is vital to providing resilient habitats for long-term conservation. Scott will discuss the research on climate change and pollinators and how land managers can conserve, manage and restore habitats with climate change in mind.

Click here for more information and to register.

Minnesota Bee Symposium – Cloquet, MN

February 25th, 2017
Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Cloquet, MN

This daylong symposium is mostly focused on honey bee keeping; join Pamela Herou of the Xerces Society to learn about the diversity of native bees in Minnesota, their role in pollination, and how to support them in our landscapes.

Registration details coming soon.

The Buzz on Bees (and other Pollinators): A Panel of Local Experts – Minneapolis, MN

March 2nd, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Wedge Table
Minneapolis, MN

Join Xerces Society’s Sarah Foltz Jordan and other local pollinator experts to hear more about issues affecting our local pollinators and ways you can get engaged to help them.

Click here for more details and to register.

Best Practices for Pollinators in the Real World – St. Paul, MN

March 9th, 2017
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Dakota Lodge
St. Paul, MN

Governor Dayton’s 2016 Executive Order to restore pollinator health will affect local, county and state land management practices. Best Practices for Pollinators in the Real World: Summit for Minnesota Counties, Municipalities, Leaders will provide resources and innovative ideas for leaders in developing best practices. Xerces Society’s Sarah Foltz Jordan will be presenting on the resource concerns of Minnesota pollinators, including a spotlight on two at-risk species - the rusty patched bumble bee and the monarch butterfly. Other talks will focus on pesticide impacts, restoration strategies, integrated pest management, invasive weed control, and ecological function of native plants, and more. This workshop is filling up fast!

Click here for more information and to register.

Ensuring Pumpkin Pollination – Webinar

March 21st, 2017
11:00 AM PST

Pumpkin is entirely dependent on insects for pollination. We first review the flower structure and the pollen and nectar rewards pumpkins offers to achieve pollination, and what that means for fruit set. We overview the range of bee species that interact with these flowers in commercial settings, and then focus on the three dominant species for providing pollination: bumble bees, squash bees, and honey bees. We review their biology and ecology, and detail visitation rates and population levels observed in commercial settings. We discuss how management - rotation, tillage, IPM practices, floral provisioning with perennial meadows or cover crops, rental of managed honey and bumble bees, and irrigation - at the farm and landscape scale can help conserve both wild and managed bees that provide the ecosystem service of pollination to pumpkins.

Click here for more information and to register.

Pine County Master Gardeners Horticulture Day – Pine City, MN

March 25th, 2017
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Pine City High School
Pine City, MN

The Xerces Society’s Pamela Herou will be leading a break-out session on our local native bees and their habitat needs.

Click here for more details and to register.

How to Manage Solitary Orchard Bees for Crop Pollination – Webinar

March 28th, 2017
11:00 AM PST

With the uncertainty of healthy honey bee hive availability and the high cost of hive rentals for crop pollination, an alternative or complementary bee, the blue orchard bee, is becoming more available and manageable for fruit and nut tree pollination. This presentation will describe the life cycle of this North American solitary, cavity-nesting bee, and how it can be deployed for providing pollination services while also maintaining or increasing a managed pollinator population.

Click here for more information and to register.


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Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about pollinator conservation.

Learn About Your Landscape:
Take Action!
Sign the Pledge!

Sign the pledge and take action to help protect pollinators and their essential habitats! Learn more.

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!