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

Farming With Beneficial Insects for Pest Control – Hot Springs, VA

January 9th, 2017
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
The Homestead Resort
Hot Springs, VA

Learn about supporting beneficial insects that provide pest control in this full-day short course. Join Thelma Heidel-Baker, Conservation Biocontrol Specialist, and Nancy Adamson, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, from the Xerces Society as they overview conservation biological control and provide guidance on creating farm habitat to support those beneficial predators and parasitoids that attack insect pests. 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 pesticides. Participants will learn how common farm practices can impact beneficial insects and how to assess and create farm habitat for beneficial insects.

This course is offered as a pre-conference workshop for the Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) Conference.

Click here for more information and to register (conference registration is not required to attend this course).

Pollinators on the Verge: Update of Policies, Practices, and Science on Rights-of-Way – Washington, D.C.

January 9th, 2017
1:30 PM -3:15 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

Join Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist from the Xerces Society, and others for this panel discussion. The issue of pollinators and habitat on rights-of-way appeared in 2015. It gained momentum with actions by President Obama, natural resource and transportation agencies, and others. This panel updates where the transportation community stands in protecting pollinators and their habitat. It follows the very successful TRB workshop at the 2016 Annual Meeting. Although targeted to highway rights-of-way, this session may help managers from other transportation modes with rights-of-way.

Click here for more information and to register.

Enhancing Farm Diversity to Support Pollinators, Predators, and Parasitoids – Hot Springs, VA

January 10th - 11th, 2017
The Homestead Resort
Hot Springs, VA

Visit Nancy Lee Adamson, Pollinator Conservation Specialist from the Xerces Society, at the Xerces Society/NRCS booth during this conference. On January 10th, from 9-10:30 AM, Nancy will present on some of our smaller farm heroes – the most common types of bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and other wildlife that help ensure healthy harvests. Her presentation will highlight habitat needs (food and shelter) of pollinators, predators, and parasitoids, farming practices that support them, and Farm Bill programs to enhance diversity on farms.

Click here for more information and to register.

2017 NOFA/MA Winter Conference – Worcester, MA

January 14th, 2017
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA

Session Two: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
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.

Bringing Bees, Butterflies and Beauty into Gardens and Landscapes – Greensboro, NC

January 17, 2017
1:00 PM – 1:50 PM
Green & Growin' Conference and Expo, Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons
Greensboro, NC

Want to better support the bees and other wildlife that help ensure abundant harvests, keep our ecosystems healthy and enrich our communities? Join Nancy Adamson of the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to learn a little more about the benefits of diversity, best management practices to support pollinators and plants that add pollinator value and beauty to landscapes.

Nancy will also have a table during the expo, which runs the 19th and 20th.

Click here for more information and to register.

Designing Habitat for Multiple Benefits: Wildlife, Soil, Water and Carbon – Webinar

January 24, 2017
2:00 pm US/Eastern
http://www.conservationwebinars.net

Using a farm case study, participants will learn strategies to design habitat restoration projects that address multiple resource concerns simultaneously. The idea is not necessarily to create a different practice or habitat project for each resource concern, but rather how to address multiple concerns within a single project. For this webinar, the case study will be a native grassland / meadow (conservation cover) restoration project adjacent to an almond orchard in California’s Central Valley. Speakers will highlight how the project was designed to improve soil health, prevent run-off into waterways, be attractive to pollinators and other beneficial insects, and sequester carbon.

Click here for more information and to register.

2017 Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Conference – Aberdeen, SD

January 27th - 28th, 2017
Best Western Ramkota Hotel
Aberdeen, SD

Join us for two sessions led by the Xerces Society’s Sarah Foltz Jordan, Jim Eckberg, and our farmer partner, Casey Bailey. Also—be sure to find Xerces’ booth in the exhibit hall!

Farming With Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects - Jan. 27th, 3:45 PM -5:00 PM

This session will introduce the pollinators and beneficial insects that provide critical crop pollination and pest control services on farms. Join Sarah Foltz Jordan (Pollinator Conservation Specialist) and Casey Bailey (Montana farmer) as we re-think and re-design our farms to bring back these important insects and the services they provide. This session will 1) explain why pollinators and other beneficial insects are important to farms, 2) introduce the major groups of beneficial insects, and 3) provide examples and case studies of various habitat plantings on farms. We will also discuss how farm practices involving cover crops and livestock can support beneficial insects, while also building soil health and farm resilience.

How to Restore Habitat for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects on the Farm - Jan. 28th, 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Flowering habitat supports a diversity of pollinators and beneficial insects, but establishing these habitats on farms can be challenging. Jim Eckberg (Plant Ecologist/ Agronomist) will provide step-by-step guidance for creating beneficial insect habitat on farms in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains, including practical tips, common pitfalls, and the most critical steps to create flourishing, resilient plant communities. Jim will discuss perennial wildflowers, flowering shelterbelts, cover crops, and forage legumes as well as how crops benefit from wild pollinators and other beneficial insects. This session will also introduce a new initiative through General Mills- Cheerios Division to provide free seed and technical support for farmers to establish habitat for beneficial insects on their farms.

Click here for more details and to register.

Natural Resources and Biodiversity Farm Tour – Portland, OR

February 2nd, 2017
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Organicology Conference – Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Portland, OR

Join Mace Vaughan and other guest speakers at the Organicology conference for this workshop and farm tour to explore how producers, inspectors and others can identify concerns related to natural resource conservation and opportunities to improve it.

The first half of this intensive will be spent in a classroom setting. Following lunch, a half day farm tour will be hosted so you can see these principles in action.

Speakers: Jo Ann Baumgartner, Executive Director, Wild Farm Alliance; Dean Moberg, Resource Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Co-Director, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; additional speakers TBA.

Participants may register for this day and not the rest of the conference.

Click here for more information and to register.

Managing Farms and Creating Habitat to Support Conservation Biological Control – Portland, OR

February 3rd, 2017
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Organicology Conference - Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
Portland, OR

Join Eric Mader and Thelma Heidel-Baker at the Organicology conference as they present a two-hour workshop on supporting conservation biocontrol on organic farms. In this workshop, they will provide a brief overview of beneficial insect ecology, general concepts for balancing the needs of beneficial insects with farm practices, and specific best management practices that minimize land-use and crop-management impacts on beneficial insects. They will also provide detailed information on organic-approved techniques for creating habitat features that support the beneficial insects providing pest control.

Click here for more information and to register.

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition Winter Workshop – Guthrie Center, IA

February 3rd - 4th, 2017
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM (keynote)
Springbrook Conservation Education Center
Guthrie Center, IA

Join Jennifer Hopwood, Xerces Society, for her keynote speech: "Pesticides and Pollinators, separate the facts from the hype", at the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition Winter Workshop.

Click here for more information and to register.

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.

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.

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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!