Pollinator Conservation Resources – Southeast Region

The pollinator resources found on this page support habitat projects in southern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

View all the regions in North America for other pollinator resources. For questions, comments, or to suggest additional content, please contact Eric Mader, Xerces Assistant Pollinator Program Director.

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

Southeast Plants for Native Bees (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
A Southeast specific information guide to selecting common native and ornamental garden plants that attract native bees.

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

Native Plants Database (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.

Pollination: Plants for Year-Round Bee Forage for the South (University of Georgia: web site resource)
A list of commercially cultivated, native, and naturalized plants that support honey bees and native bees in the Southern U.S.

The Diversity and Floral Hosts of Bees at the Archbold Biological Station, Florida (Center for Systematic Entomology: research article).
This academic research paper details the results of a survey of bee visitation to various Florida plants.

Butterfly Gardening in Florida (University of Florida: Extension fact sheet)
An in-depth guide to nectar and larval host plants for Florida butterflies.

National Plant Lists

Plants for Native Bees in North America (Xerces Society: fact sheet)
A general information guide to selecting common native and ornamental garden plants that attract native bees.

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.

Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed (Xerces Society: conservation guides)
Establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators is the single most effective course of action to conserve pollinators that can be taken by anyone at any scale. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions for establishing pollinator meadows from seed in areas that range in size from a small backyard garden up to areas around an acre. Use this document with pollinator plant list applicable to your region.

Alabama Conservation Security Program: Wildlife Enhancement Activity, Pollinator Areas (Alabama USDA-NRCS: job sheet)
A job sheet containing Alabama’s technical specifications for establishing and maintaining pollinator areas under the 2008 Conservation Security Programs.

Bee Conservation in the Southeast (University of Georgia: web site resource)
An overview of common bees in the Southeast and recommended plants and habitat management practices for their conservation.

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.

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.

Abide A While Garden Center, Mount Pleasant, SC
Abide A While Garden Center offers native and non-native plants.

All Native Garden Center & Plant Nursery, Fort Meyers, FL
This nursery sells wildflowers, shrubs, trees and aquatic species native to Florida.

Applewood Seed Company, Arvada, CO
Applewood Seed Company offers native wildflower and garden flower seeds.

Aquatic Plants of Florida, Inc. , Sarasota, FL
APF provides wholesale freshwater grasses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs, including salt-tolerant species, native to the Southeastern U.S.

ATS Nursery, Bainbridge, GA
ATS Nursery grows over 40 different species of native grasses, wetland plants, and trees. They will also contract collect and grow desired species.

Bamert Seed Company, Muleshoe, TX
Bamert Seed company offers over 200 species of high quality native grasses, forbs, and legumes.

Biophilia Native Nursery, Elberta, AL
Biophilia offers a wide range of native wildflowers and seeds, with a focus on species that are host plants for butterflies.

Biosphere Consulting, Inc. , Winter Garden, FL
Biosphere’s nursery provides native wetland and upland herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, as well as wildflower seeds.

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

Carolina Wild, Anderson, SC
Carolina Wild specializes in containerized perennials, grasses, shrubs and vines native to South Carolina, SW North Carolina, and NE Georgia.

Central Florida Native Flora, Inc. , San Antonio, FL
This nursery offers wildflowers, grasses, trees, shrubs and aquatic species native to Florida.

Coastal Plain Conservation Nursery, Inc., Edenton, NC
Coastal Plain Conservation Nursery propagates wild-type native wetland and aquatic plants for projects in the Carolinas, southeastern Virginia, and beyond.

Coopers Seeds, Lawrenceville, GA
Coopers Seeds offers regional seed mixes.

Dropseed Native Nursery, Goshen, KY
Dropseed Native Plant Nursery supplies local ecotype plants and seeds for prairie and wetland species of Kentucky.

Elk Mountain Nursery, Asheville, NC
Elk Mountain Nursery specializes in forbs, shrubs, vines, and trees native to the Eastern United States.

Environmental Concern, St. Michaels, MD
Environmental Concerns is a 501(c)3 public not for profit dedicated to working with all aspects of wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and beyond. They have 120 native wetland plans in propagation for wetland restoration efforts.

Environmental Seed Producers, Lompoc, CA
Environmental Seed Producers supplies high quality bulk wildflower seed, dazzling wildflower seed mixtures, and reliable easy-care garden flower seed.

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

Florida Association of Native Nurseries , Melbourne, FL
The Florida Association of Native Nurseries (“FANN”) provides a wealth of information about using Florida native plants in gardens, landscaping, and restoration.

Florida Native Plants, Inc. , Sarasota, FL
Florida Native Plants Nursery provides young trees, shrubs, palms, grasses, ground covers, aquatics, and wildflowers native to Florida.

Florida Wildflower Cooperative, Crescent City, FL
Florida Wildflower Cooperative produces and supplies high quality wildflower seed and plant materials restoration in Florida.

Gardens of Blue Ridge, Pineola, NC
Gardens of Blue Ridge is a family owned and operated company specializing in wildflowers, ferns, native orchids, trees and shrubs.

Georgia Forestry Commission Nursery, Macon, GA
Georgia Forestry Commission Nursery sells tree seedlings that are adapted to Georgia’s unique climate and soils.

Growild, Inc. , Fairview, TN
GroWild is a plant nursery specializing in native Eastern U. S. plants, including perennials, wildflowers, trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses.

Lamtree Farm, Warrensville, NC
Lamtree Farm is a retail and wholesale nursery provide native and nonnative trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

Legare Farms, Johns Island, SC
Legare Farms grows Zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Centipede sod as well as a variety of nursery plants.

Mail Order Natives, Lee, FL
Mail Order Natives offers native plants grown in their own facility.

Maple Street Natives, West Melbourne, FL
Maple Street’s retail and wholesale nursery offers over 150 species of Central Florida native plants.

Meadowbrook Nursery/We-Du Natives, Marion, NC
Meadowbrook Nursery offers native deciduous azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels.

Meek’s Farms & Nursery, Kite, GA
Meek’s Farms & Nursery provides native deep plug container seedlings.

Mellow Marsh Farm, Siler City, NC
Mellow Marsh Farm specializes in the propagation of wetland plants native to the Southeast. Their plants are grown from seed collected in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Naturescapes of Beaufort, Lady’s Island, SC
Naturescapes of Beaufort offers earth-friendly landscaping, native plant sales, educational programs, vegetation surveys, and consultation services.

Nashville Natives, LLC, Fairview, TN
Nashville Natives sells native wildflowers, ferns, grasses, trees and shrubs of Tennessee ecotype.

Native Nurseries of Tallahassee, Inc. , Tallahassee, FL
This retail nursery specializes in woodland native plants as well as coastal / dune plants of Florida.

Nearly Native Nursery, Fayetteville, GA
Nearly Native Nursery is a specialty nursery that promotes, sells, and propagates native plants for all types of landscapes.

Prairie Frontier, Wankesha, WI
Prairie Frontier specializes in native wildflower and prairie grass seed.

Taylor Nursery (SC Forestry Commission) Trenton, SC
Taylor Nursery provides wiregrass and local ecotype wildflower plus and native trees and shrubs. They will also grow plugs from collected seed for a specific contract or project.

The Natives, Inc. , Davenport, FL
Florida native grasses, sandhill and scrub species, wildflowers, wetland trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants can all be found at The Natives plant nursery.

Roundstone Native Seed, Upton, KY
Roundstone produces native grass, wildflower, and legume seed and plant materials, and specializes in Ohio Valley and Southeastern ecotypes.

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery, Sanibel, FL
The Native Plant Nursery is a retail nursery that sells a variety of live native plants appropriate for the southwest Florida region.

Shady Grove Nursery, Orangeburg, SC
Shady Grove Nursery offers a wide selection of better cultivars in hollies, southern magnoliaas, and shad and flowering trees.

Sharp Brothers Seed Company, Clinton, MO
Sharp Brothers Seed Company offers a limited selection of native seeds, native habitat and grass mixtures.

Shooting Star Nursery, Georgetown, KY
Shooting Star Nursery specializes in plants native to Kentucky, and propagates a large diversity of species of native plants, trees, shrubs, aquatics, and vines.

Southern Habitats, Greenville, FL
Southern Habitats specializes in the use of native plants to create havens for the wildlife of the Southeast United States.

Sunlight Gardens, Andersonville, TN
Sunlight Gardens specializes in primarily herbaceous plants that are native to the Eastern United States.

Wilcox Nursery, Largo, FL
Wilcox Nursery provides native-to-Florida trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses.

Woodlanders, Aiken, SC
Woodlanders nursery offers native grasses, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs in containers.

Bee Identification and Monitoring Resources

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.

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

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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