Organic Farms

Organic farming offers many benefits to pollinators, but some common organic-approved pesticides and practices can be potentially just as harmful to bees and other pollinators as conventional farming systems. For example, in the absence of readily available herbicides, some organic farms depend more heavily on tillage as a primary weed control strategy. This greater soil disturbance may be detrimental to ground-nesting bees. By understanding native bee biology, nesting habits, and the toxicity of various organic-approved pesticides, farmers can effectively balance their crop management strategies with the needs of their resident pollinators.

Someone working by hand at an organic farm

Resources


Organic Farming for Bees Toolkit

The full Organic Farming for Bees tool kit contains both of the fact sheets (below), as well as information about native bee biology, artificial nest management, and regional plant lists for pollinator habitat restoration. The companion publication Farming for Bees contains detailed guidance on identifying and creating pollinator habitat within a working agricultural landscape.To download PDF, click here.


Organic Farming Practices: Reducing Harm to Pollinators

Guidelines on how various organic farming practices can be balanced with the ecological needs of pollinators. To download PDF, click here.


Organic-Approved Pesticides: Minimizing Risk to Pollinators

An overview of all commonly available organic-approved pesticides, and suggestions for mitigating their impact on native bees. To download PDF, click here.


Pollinator Management For Organic Seed Producers

These guidelines provide clear strategies for conserving pollinators, managing crop isolation distances, and reducing unintended outcrossing between organic and non-organic seed crops. Click here to read more.


Farming for Bees

This companion publication to Organic Farming for Bees contains detailed guidance on identifying and creating pollinator habitat within a working agricultural landscape. To download PDF, click here.


Wild Farm Alliance Biodiversity Conservation cover

Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmer’s Guide

This publication was developed by Wild Farm Alliance. Wild Farm Alliance believes it is critical for all players within organic agriculture do their part in ensuring that biodiversity conservation is fully developed and put into practice. To download PDF, click here.


NRCS logo

NRCS Organic Initiative

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program provides financial opportunities for organic producers to address natural resource concerns related to organic production, as well as requirements related to adherence to the National Organic Program (NOP) requirements and certain program payment limitations. To visit their site, click here.

A special thanks to …

Support for the Organic Farming for Bees tool kit was generously provided by the Columbia Foundation, the Organic Farming Research Foundation, Organic Valley Family of Farms, the Turner Foundation, and Wild Farm Alliance.

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Pollinator Conservation Resource Center


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

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes


Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!


Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

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