Pollinator Conservation Resources – Mid-Atlantic Region

The pollinator resources found on this page support habitat projects in southern New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Northern North Carolina.

View all the regions in North America for other pollinator resources. For questions, comments, or to suggest additional content, please email pollinators@xerces.org.

For locally native wildflower seed to use in pollinator habitat restoration projects (including USDA-administered farm conservation programs), please see our Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes. Xerces-approved seed mixes are free of systemic insecticides and developed using local eco-type seed by independent native plant nurseries for native plant restoration efforts.

Regional Plant Lists

Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Plant List (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
Recommended native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mix Calculator (Xerces Society: calculator)
Develop your own pollinator conservation seed mix using this seed rate calculator.

Native Plant Profiles and Lists (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: web site resource)
The Xerces Society has collaborated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to create plant lists that are attractive to native bees, bumble bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects, as well as plant lists with value as nesting materials for native bees. These lists can be narrowed down with additional criteria such as state, soil moisture, bloom time, and sunlight requirements.

Native Bee Benefits for Pennsylvania and New Jersey Farmers (Bryn Mawr and Rutgers University: fact sheet)
A guide to native bee pollinators of the Mid Atlantic states and the native plants that support them.

Delaware Native Plants for Native Bees (USDA-NRCS and Delaware Department of Agriculture: technical bulletin)
A guide to native plants that includes photos and cultural requirements of each species.

Conserving Wild Bees in Pennsylvania (Penn State University: web site resource)
A resource on the wild bees of Pennsylvania and how to select appropriate pollinator plants.

Native Plants that Provide Forage for Bees (North Carolina Cooperative Extension: web resource)
Web resource from the Chatham County North Carolina Cooperative Extension which includes a list of plants that provide forage for bees.

National Plant Lists

Improving Forage for Native Bee Crop Pollinators (USDA National Agroforestry Center: technical note)
An in-depth guide to enhancing floral resources for native bees, with an emphasis on the selection of bee-friendly trees and shrubs.

Plants Attractive to Native Bees (USDA Agricultural Research Service: web site resource)
A list of widely distributed plant genera that both are commonly cultivated and broadly attractive to bees.

Gardening for Native Bees in North America (USDA Agricultural Research Service: web site resource)
An overview of how to choose plants for garden settings to encourage bees.

Conservation Guides

Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Installation Guides (Xerces Society: conservation guides)
These regional guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install nectar and pollen habitat for bees in the form of wildflower meadow plantings or linear rows of native flowering shrubs.

Attracting Native Pollinators. Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies (Xerces Society: book)
Now in its second printing, Attracting Native Pollinators reflects the latest understanding about conserving pollinator habitat. Illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of specially created illustrations this book is divided into four sections: pollinators and pollination, taking action, bees of North America, and creating a pollinator-friendly landscape.

Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form and Guide (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines) This habitat assessment form and guide enables you to assess specific pollinator habitat features before and after project implementation in both orchard and field crop settings.

Native Bee Benefits for Pennsylvania and New Jersey Farmers (Bryn Mawr and Rutgers University: fact sheet)
A guide to native bee pollinators of the Mid Atlantic states and the native plants that support them.

Habitat Development for Pollinators in New Jersey (New Jersey USDA-NRCS: technical note)
An in-depth technical guide to the enhancement of pollinator habitat for USDA conservation programs.

Wildflower Meadow for Wildlife and Pollinators (Virginia USDA-NRCS: job sheet)
A job sheet containing technical specifications for creating habitat through the NRCS Conservation Cover practice standard, as part of various USDA conservation programs.

Farming for Bees Brochure (Delaware Dept of Agriculture: brochure)
A general overview of bee conservation issues for Delaware farmers.

Farming for Native Bees in Delaware Field Guide (Delaware Dept of Agriculture: technical bulletin)
A guide to native bee species found in Delaware.

Farm Management for Native Bees: A Guide for Delaware (Delaware Dept of Agriculture: technical bulletin) This technical bulletin provides guidelines on how to balance common crop production practices with native bee conservation.

West Virginia Pollinator Handbook (West Virginia NRCS: handbook)
This extensive handbook focuses on the diversity and conservation of native bees and butterflies in and around farm land in West Virginia.

Farming for Bees (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
This booklet outlines ways to protect and enhance habitat for native crop pollinators in the farm landscape. It includes advice on simple changes that can be made in farm management for the benefit of native bees, as well as how to create important habitat features.

Organic Farming Practices: Reducing Harm to Pollinators (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
Guidelines that rank the impact of various farming practices to native bees.

Pollinator Management for Organic Seed Producers (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
These guidelines provide clear strategies for conserving pollinators, managing crop isolation distances, and reducing unintended outcrossing between organic and non-organic seed crops.

Pollinators in Natural Areas (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
This primer provides a summary of how land and wildlife managers can account for the habitat needs of pollinators. This 8-page booklet provides a series of recommendations for land managers on how tools such as fire, grazing, mowing, herbicides, and insecticides can be adjusted to benefit pollinators.

Pollinator-Friendly Parks. How to Enhance Parks, Gardens, and other Greenspaces for Native Pollinator Insects (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
These guidelines offer practical advice about providing habitat for native bees and butterflies in all types of parks and greenspaces. It includes advice on choosing plants that offer nectar and pollen, hostplants for caterpillars, and creating nest sites for solitary bees-in all types of parks.

Making Room for Native Pollinators. How to Create Habitat for Pollinator Insects on Golf Courses (Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
Published by the U.S. Golf Association in 2002. Maintaining pollinator populations is one of the most valuable ways in which a course can contribute to a healthy environment. These guidelines offer tips for providing habitat for native bees.

Using Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation (USDA-NRCS: technical note)
These guidelines provide a concise summary of how Farm Bill conservation programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program or the Conservation Reserve Program, can be used to restore or enhance habitat for pollinators on working farms and private lands.

Sustaining Native Bee Habitat for Crop Pollination (USDA National Agroforestry Center: technical note)
An overview of how to provide habitat for crop-pollinating native bees in agroforestry settings.

Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees (ATTRA: handbook)
This publication provides information and resources on how to plan for, protect and create habitat for native bees in agricultural settings. The handbook includes a description of common native bee groups, nest management guidelines, wildflower recommendations, farm case studies, and other resources.

Pollinator Conservation: Three Simple Steps to Help Bees and Butterflies (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
This fact sheet provides an overview on the importance of pollinators and outlines three simple steps that you can do to help conserve bees and butterflies.

Protecting Nature’s Essential Service: The Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
A summary of the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program and key accomplishments within the program.

Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards (Cornell University: conservation guidelines)
Produced by Cornell University, Penn State University, Xerces Society, Northeastern IPM Center, USDA Department of Agriculture, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This book includes a photo guide to bees most important to apple production in the East, steps to conserving wild bee populations, plant recommendations to enhance habitat, summary of bee toxicities for commonly used orchard pesticides, and links to additional information.

Pesticide Guides

Organic-Approved Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
Guidelines that rank the toxicity of common, organic-approved pesticides to native bees.

Preventing Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators (USDA-NRCS: technical note)
This USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manual provides NRCS state offices and IPM professionals with guidance on conservation strategies that can reduce the risk of pesticides to bees in farm landscapes.

Pesticide Considerations for Native Bees in Agroforestry (USDA National Agroforestry Center: technical note) An article highlighting how to reduce bee poisoning from pesticides.

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides (Oregon State University: Extension fact sheet)
A publication listing common agricultural pesticides and their known effects on multiple bee species.

Ecological Pest Management Database (ATTRA: web resource)
An online database that helps users select reduced risk pesticides for the protection of beneficial insects.

Native Bee Nest Management Guides

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists (SARE: handbook)
A first of its kind, step-by-step, full color guide for rearing and managing bumblebees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, and other honey bee alternatives. Free download; 162 pages.

Nests for Native Bees (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
A resource to that describes techniques used to make nests for native bees.

Tunnel Nest Construction and Management (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
Guidelines on the construction and maintenance of nest sites for tunnel nesting native bees.

Build a Nesting Board (USDA Agriculture Research Center: web site resource)
Instructions on how to construct a drilled nest board for leafcutter and mason bees. Includes extensive color photos of the construction process.

Reed Nests (USDA Agriculture Research Center: web site resource)
Instructions on how to cut and assemble bundled reed nests using the common reed (Phragmites australis).

Stick Nests (USDA Agriculture Research Center: web site resource)
An illustrated guide to constructing stick nests and stake nests for wood nesting bees such as mason bees, leafcutter bees, and various carpenter bees.

Native Pollinator Plant Nurseries

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes
The Xerces Society works with leading wildflower seed producers in multiple regions of the U.S. to develop custom native seed mixes that feature the best pollen and nectar plants available. Local ecotype, source-identified seed that is not treated with pesticides is used wherever possible. Large volume mixes are available at wholesale pricing to help offset the costs of native plant restoration.

American Native Nursery, Quakertown, PA
American Native Nursery offers wholesale pricing on open-pollinated, 100% ecotyped native plugs and liners; foundation seed can be wild-collected from Massachusetts to Tennessee.

American Native Plants, Perry Hall, MD
This nursery specializes in trees and shrubs native to the Mid-Atlantic region, and also sells aquatic and herbaceous native plants.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope, PA
Bowman’s Hill provides native Pennsylvania plant material and seeds of trees, shrubs, vines and wildflowers.

Carolina Wetland Services, Inc. , Charlotte, NC
The native plant nursery of Carolina Wetland Services provides aquatic, wetland and riparian plants of the Southeast region.

Chesapeake Native Nursery, College Park, MD
Chesapeake Natives provide local ecotype wildflowers and grasses by order to the Chesapeake Watershed area.

Delaware Native Plant Society, Dover, DE
The Delaware Native Plant Society’s nursery is dedicated to growing trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that are native to the Delmarva Peninsula.

Earth First Native Plant Nursery, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Earth First sells nursery-propagated native herbaceous and woody perennials of the Mid-Atlantic region, NJ Pinelands and Southern NJ shore, and does not ship west of the Great Plains.

Earth Sangha Wild Plant Nursery, Fairfax, VA
Earth Sangha’s Wild Plant Nursery provides a comprehensive selection of local ecotype native plants for ecological restoration in the Washington, DC, region.

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery, LLC, Orefield, PA
Edge of the Woods is a retail container nursery specializing in native plants, including trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, ferns and aquatic plants.

Enchanter’s Garden, Hinton, WV
Enchanter’s Garden specializes in native plants of the mid-Atlantic region.

Elk Mountain Nursery, Asheville, NC
Elk Mountain offers nursery-propagated perennials, shrubs, and trees, with a focus on Eastern U.S. natives.

Ernst Conservation Seed, Meadville, PA
Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects.
Ernst sells a diversity of Eastern ecotype native wildflower and grass seeds, as well as planting material of trees and shrubs.

Fort Pond Native Plants, Inc. , Montauk, NY
Fort Pond specializes in woody native plants and also offers ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.

Gardens of the Blue Ridge, Pineola, NC
Gardens of the Blue Ridge sells native North Carolina wildflowers, ferns, shrubs as well as wildflower seed mixes.

Herring Run Nursery, Baltimore, MD
Herring Run Nursery specializes in growing hard-to-find native shrubs, vines, trees and perennials for Maryland’s Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions.

Lower Marlboro Nursery, Dunkirk, MD
This nursery provides perennials, trees, and shrubs native to the Eastern U. S.

Meadowood Nursery, Hummelstown, PA
Meadowood offers herbaceous and woody plants primarily native to South Central Pennsylvania.

Mellow Marsh Farm, Siler City, NC
Mellow Marsh Farm specializes in plant material of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and wetland plants native to the Southeast.

Mid Atlantic Natives, New Freedom, PA
Mid Atlantic Natives sells Northeast and Chesapeake Bay Watershed region native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses.

Nature By Design, Alexandria, VA
Nature By Design offers native trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals found in the Atlantic area.

Niche Gardens, Chapel Hill, NC
Niche Gardens is a retail and mail-order nursery that specializes in native wildflowers and shrubs as well as garden varieties.

North Creek Nurseries, lnc. , Landenberg, PA
North Creek is a wholesale propagation nursery that sells New England native plants in plugs.

Northeast Natives & Perennials, Quakertown, PA
Northeast Natives & Perennials is a retail nursery specializing in native perennials, trees and shrubs of the northeastern U. S.

Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, Kirkwood, PA
Octoraro is a wholesale grower specializing in mid-Atlantic and Eastern regional native woody trees and shrubs and plugs of grasses and wildflowers.

Pine Plants Nursery, Columbus, NJ
Pinelands Nursery is the largest supplier of strictly native trees, shrubs and herbaceous species in the Northeast.

Redbud Native Plant Nursery, Glen Mills, PA
Redbud sells native plants including trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, wildflowers and aquatic plants for the mid-Atlantic region.

Stadler Native Plants, Frederick, MD
This nursery offers a wide range of native trees, shrubs, perennials, and annual plants for the mid-Atlantic region.

Sugarbush Nursery, Mohnton, PA
Sugarbush provides trees, shrubs and perennials native to southeastern Pennsylvania.

Toadshade Wildflower Farm, Frenchtown, NJ
Toadshade provides nursery propagated perennial wildflowers native to the Northeastern U. S.

Wildflower Nursery, Marshall, NC
Wildflower nursery sells flowering plants and trees native to Western North Carolina.

Yellow Springs Farm Native Plant Nursery, Chester Springs, PA
Yellow Springs offers grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees native to Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic states.

Bee Identification and Monitoring Resources

Streamlined Bee Monitoring Protocol
Developed the University of California, Davis, Rutgers University, Michigan State University, and The Xerces Society, this guide provides instructions for assessing pollinator habitat quality and diversity by monitoring native bees. It was developed for conservationists, farmers, land managers, and restoration professionals to document how native bee communities change through time in pollinator habitats. It includes an introduction to bee identification, a detailed monitoring protocol, and data sheets for different habitat types.

Assessing the Pollination of Your Watermelon (Rutgers University: monitoring guide)
A set of tools that will help you estimate the percentage pollination you are receiving in your watermelon field and the relative contribution of the different types of bees to the pollination of your crop.

Pennsylvania Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide (Penn State: Instructional Handbook)
An instructional handbook for native bee survey efforts, used by the Penn State Master Gardener Program. The handbook assists users in identifying native bees to broad morphological categories for assessing general pollinator abundance and diversity. Developed in collaboration with the Xerces Society, this guide is useful in identifying broad groups of bees throughout the Northeastern U.S.

Pennsylvania Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Pocket Guide (Penn State: field ID guide)
A pocket-sized printable field version of the taxonomic native bee groups described the Penn-State Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide.

Evaluating Quality of Citizen-Scientist Data on Pollinator Communities (Conservation Biology: contributed paper)
This research paper evaluates the utility of citizen-science observational data.

Yellowbanded Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide (Xerces Society: field ID guide)
A full color print-and-fold guide to the yellowbanded bumble bee (Bombus terricola), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide (Xerces Society: field ID guide)
A full color print-and-fold guide to the rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

Great Pollinator Project (Center for Biodiversity and Conservation/Greenbelt Native Plant Center: citizen science program)
The Great Pollinator Project (formerly NYC Bee Watchers) engages public participants with bee surveying efforts in New York City. Project goals are to 1) identify which areas of New York City have good pollination services (as determined by how quickly bees show up to pollinate flowers at various locations throughout the city); 2) increase understanding of bee distribution; 3) raise public awareness of native bees; and 4) improve park management and home gardening practices to benefit native bees.

BugGuide (Iowa State University: web resource)
BugGuide is an online community of naturalists who share photographs of bugs from the United States and Canada for identification and research. Site visitors can submit their own photos for identification assistance.

Discover Life (American Museum of Natural History: web resource)
Discover Life hosts interactive species guides provide identification support for North American bees in the states and provinces east of the Mississippi River. Work is ongoing to add additional species guides for bees from the rest of North American and the world.

Great Sunflower Project (San Francisco State University: citizen science program)
The Great Sunflower Project is a citizen-science monitoring effort to gather information about urban, suburban and rural bee populations across the U.S. and Canada. Participants plant sunflowers in their garden, then submit the results of a once weekly 15 minute observation of bee activity. The website offers guides to common bee groups of North America.

Native Buzz (University of Florida: citizen science program)
At the University of Florida Native Buzz, participants can keep track of their own “Native Buzz Nest Site” and see the results of other participant’s nest sites. The goals of this project are to learn more about nesting preferences, diversity and distribution of our native solitary bees and wasps, share the information gained and provide a forum for those interested in participating in the science and art of native beekeeping (and wasp-keeping!).

Bumble bees of the Eastern United States
(USDA Forest Service: field ID guide)
This field guide was produced by the USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership. The Guide covers the most commonly encountered bumble bees of the Eastern United States. Each bee species has information on preferred food plants, nesting biology, seasonal activity patterns, identification guidelines, and distribution maps.

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