Skip to main content

Pollinator Conservation Resources: California

Between neat rows of trees in an orchard is a lush row of vegetation, blooming with many different, brightly-colored flowers.
(Photo: Xerces Society / Jessa Kay Cruz)

Welcome to our Pollinator Conservation Resources for California! Here you'll find region-specific collections of publications, native seed vendors, and other resources to aid in planning, establishing, restoring, and maintaining pollinator habitat—as well as materials to help you learn about the species of invertebrates and native plants you might encounter. For more resources, see our Publications Library or learn about our Pollinator Conservation Program.

Click to return to the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center home page.


Habitat Assessment

Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Yards, Gardens, and Parks

Landscaping for pollinators is one of the easiest ways for urban, suburban, and rural residents to directly benefit local wildlife. Schoolyards, community gardens, back yards, corporate campuses, rain gardens, and neighborhood parks all have the potential to meet the most basic needs of pollinators, including protection from pesticides, and resources for foraging, nesting, and overwintering. 


Habitat Assessment Guide For Pollinators: Natural Areas and Rangelands

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for natural areas and rangelands.


Habitat Assessment Guide for Pollinators: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This pollinator habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.


Habitat Assessment Guide for Beneficial Insects: Farms and Agricultural Landscapes

This beneficial insect habitat assessment guide is designed for a single site on a farm or agricultural landscape.


Pollinator Biology and Habitat in California: USDA-NRCS: Technical Note

This technical note is intended to be used during conservation planning as a guide to provide suitable habitat for pollinators, primarily native bees, but also including managed bees, for management practices and facilitating practices that restore, enhance, or manage lands in agricultural settings.


Habitat Installation

422A Hedgerow Planting, Pollinators: Central Valley, Central Coast, Southern California

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide. 


327A Conservation Cover, Pollinators: Central Valley, Central Coast, Southern California

These region-and state-specific guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install and maintain nectar- and pollen-rich habitat for pollinators in the form of wildflower meadow plantings/conservation cover (NRCS Conservation Practice 327) or linear rows of native flowering shrubs/hedgerow plantings (NRCS Conservation Practice 422). Seed mixes and plant recommendations for each region are included in the appendix of each guide. 


Insectary Cover Cropping in California

Insectary cover cropping is the practice of growing single species or diverse mixes of broadleaf herbaceous plants and allowing them to bloom to provide pollen and nectar resources that support populations of native bees, honey bees, and the insects that attack crop pests.


Organic Site Preparation for Wildflower Establishment

Site preparation is one of the most important and often inadequately addressed components for successfully installing pollinator habitat. These guidelines provide step-by-step instructions, helpful suggestions, and regional timelines & checklists for preparing both small and large sites.


Establishing Pollinator Meadows from Seed
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.


A Quick Guide to Monarch Habitat on Farms in California’s Central Valley

This guide provides information for farmers in the Central Valley interested in adding monarch habitat to their farms.


Native Milkweed in California: Planting and Establishment

This Xerces guide provides an overview of guidance on planting and establishing native milkweeds in California.


Estimated Costs to Establish Pollinator Hedgerows

This fact sheet outlines the estimated costs of establishing hedgerow habitat for pollinators. Pollinator hedgerows are diverse linear plantings of native flowering trees, shrubs, perennial wildflowers and grasses designed to provide foraging and nesting habitat for pollinators. These estimates represent average costs of establishing hedgerows from transplants, and are derived from a series of pollinator hedgerow habitat projects throughout the United States. Actual costs vary from project to project and region to region.


Estimated Costs to Establish Wildflower Plantings Using Solarization

This fact sheet outlines the estimated costs of establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators using a method referred to as solarization. These cost-estimates are applicable to relatively small-scale (e.g., <1 ac) on-farm habitat plantings. They represent average cost ranges and are derived from a series of pollinator habitat projects across the United States that involved establishing conservation cover from seed. Specific costs will vary by project and by region.


Estimated Costs to Establish Wildflower Plantings Using Chemical Fallow

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a quick overview of the estimated costs of establishing wildflower habitat for pollinators on conventional farms.


Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

This 16-page bulletin will help you use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on your farm while you address your other resource concerns. It begins with a broad overview of pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, then describes cover crop selection and management, how to make cover crops work on your farm, and helpful and proven crop rotations. It will also touch on the limitations of cover crops and pesticide harm reduction, among other topics.



Plant Lists

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.


Pollinator Plants: California

This Xerces Society fact sheet features regionally native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, urban greenspaces, and farm field borders, and on business and school campuses.


Regional Pollinator and Beneficial Insect Plant Lists: California

These regional plant lists are recommended for use in pollinator habitat restoration and enhancement projects in agricultural, natural and urban landscapes California and Southern Nevada.

     California Deserts & Southern Nevada

     California Sierra Foothills Region 

     California Southern Coast Region

     California Central Valley Region

     California Central Coast Region


Monarch Nectar Plants: California

This regional list of monarch nectar plants is geared toward gardeners, landscape designers, and land managers who are implementing small- to large-scale monarch restoration projects in California. Created by the Xerces Society.


California Pollinator Plants: Native Milkweeds

This guide profiles the common milkweeds of California, describes their wildlife value, and provides guidance on incorporating milkweeds into Farm Bill conservation programs.


Roadside Habitat for Monarchs: Milkweeds of California

Monarch caterpillars require milkweed (primarily in the genus Asclepias) to complete their development. A diversity of milkweed species is found on roadsides, and play an important role in supporting the life cycle of monarchs. This guide can help you recognize the most common native species of milkweed on roadsides in your region.


Native Plant Profiles and Lists:  CalFlora

The Xerces Society has collaborated with CalFlora to input data on the attractiveness to pollinators for all species listed in the ‘Plant Characteristics’ section of plant profiles.


Native Plant Profiles and Lists: Lady Bird Johnson

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.


NCAT / ATTRA Hedgerow Plant Guide

A pictorial  guide to California native hedgerow plants for beneficial insects, with lots of great technical information on growing conditions and bloom time.


Habitat Management

Farming with Soil Life:  A Handbook for Supporting Soil Invertebrates and Soil Health on Farms

This guide focuses on the diverse, often overlooked, and essential living species that we know best: the major invertebrates (macrofauna and mesofauna) found in temperate agricultural soils. There is a focus on North America in the groups of organisms and the soil health practices that are covered, but many groups are present in these soil types around the world, and the same management principles apply. Larger soil animals, such as ground beetles, woodlice, and springtails, and their many companions, have received less attention than soil microbes in recent years.


Maintaining Diverse Stands of Wildflowers

High quality pollinator meadows sometimes experience a decline in wildflower diversity or abundance as they age. This guide provides recommendations on how to bring declining meadows back into a high quality condition.


Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed

In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment, as well as tips for cleaning, storing, and sharing seed to expand pollinator habitat on farms and in our communities.


Nesting & Overwintering Habitat For Pollinators & Other Beneficial Insects

This guide focuses on a variety of natural nesting habitat features that can be readily incorporated into most landscapes. Compared to artificial nesting options such as bee blocks and bee hotels, natural nesting habitat features often better mimic the natural nest site density of insects, and also break down naturally with time, limiting disease and parasite issues.


Best Management Practices for Pollinators on Western Rangelands

Incorporating pollinators into rangeland management is essential to help maintain or recover pollinator populations and also maintain healthy rangelands for plants, wildlife, livestock, and the people who rely on them. While there is still much to learn, these BMPs provide actionable, practical recommendations that enables land managers to help conserve pollinators on public lands in the West.


Roadside Best Management Practices that Benefit Pollinators

These best management practices provide concrete steps that can be taken by any roadside management agency to improve roadside vegetation for pollinators. The BMPs cover management of existing habitat, including ways to modify the use of mowing and herbicides to enhance roadsides, and methods to incorporate native plants and pollinator habitat into the design of new roadsides.


Roadside Habitat For Monarchs: Monarch Butterflies, Weeds, and Herbicides

Roadsides provide more than just milkweed. They can also provide diverse nectar sources to feed adult monarchs and other pollinators—but ensuring that roadsides can continue to provide the best habitat requires some thought and care. This guide highlights best management practices to reduce the impacts of herbicides on monarchs.


Managing for Monarchs in the West: Best Management Practices for Conserving the Monarch Butterfly and its Habitat

To help reverse the western monarchs’ downward population trend, we need to improve protection and management of the butterfly’s habitat across its range. These BMPs provide actionable, practical guidance that empowers western land managers to be part of the solution.


Western Monarch Management Windows: Timing Management in Monarch Breeding Habitat

Based on the best available data for when and where monarchs breed in the West, we have developed regionally appropriate monarch breeding habitat management windows, when management activities are least likely to have negative effects on monarchs.


Monarch Habitat Handbook: A California Landowner’s Guide to Managing Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Habitat

This handbook is a guide for landowners who wish to practice wise-stewardship over their Monarch butterfly habitat.


Protecting California's Butterfly Groves

The guidelines provide an overview of the biology and conservation of western monarchs; step-by-step guidance for developing a site-specific management plan, and overall guidance on topics including tree management, shrub and forb management, and visitor and public access issues. The document also includes a list of monarch-attractive native nectar plants suitable for coastal areas.


Managing Milkweed Crop Pests: A Native Seed Industry Guide

Increasing the availability of milkweeds is critical to monarch conservation, but seed production can be difficult. While monarchs are the most well-known milkweed specialists, other specialist milkweed-feeding insects can cause damage to valuable milkweed crops. Our guide provides management strategies for dealing with common milkweed pests including aphids, milkweed bugs, and milkweed beetles.

Pesticide Protection

Guidance to Protect Habitat from Pesticide Contamination: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Pollinator Habitat

This Xerces Society guidance document was designed to help growers, land managers, and others safeguard pollinator habitat from harmful pesticide contamination. It includes information on selecting habitat sites, as well as ways to maintain clean habitat by limiting and carefully managing pesticide use.


Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using Integrated Pest Management and Other Conservation Practices

Agronomy Technical Note No. 9.

This technical note is designed to help NRCS field staff and agricultural professionals identify potential pesticide hazards to pollinators, incorporate pollinator protection into IPM plans, and coordinate other conservation practices to prevent or mitigate identified hazards to pollinators and beneficial insects.


Smarter Pest Management: Protecting Pollinators at Home

Most of North America’s native bee species only forage over a distance of a few hundred yards, so with a little planning, your yard can provide a safe space for bees and other pollinators to thrive. All you need to give them are flowering plants throughout the growing season, undisturbed places to nest, and protection from pesticides. This Xerces Society guide will help you with the last item, managing yard pests in a pollinator-friendly way.


Smarter Pest Management: Pollinator Protection for Cities and Campuses

This Xerces Society fact sheet introduces to city and campus land managers the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), a system that emphasizes prevention first and seeks to eliminate the underlying causes of plant diseases, weeds, and insect problems rather than relying on routine use of pesticides.


Buying Bee-Safe Plants
Creating a welcoming home for local pollinators in your home garden or city park habitat is reason enough to choose plants free from harmful pesticide residues. Nurseries are more likely to make investments in pollinator-friendly production if their customers make it clear this is what they want. Our guide, Buying Bee-Safe Plants, covers four ways to help you find plants that are safe for bees, and includes tips and questions to use at the nursery.


Offering Bee-Safe Plants: A Guide for Nurseries

Three core elements of pollinator-friendly growing include using non-chemical methods to prevent and manage pests, monitoring of pest pressure, and limiting risk to pollinators if pesticides are used. These concepts are rooted in integrated pest management and are familiar to most growers. Offering Bee-Safe Nursery Plants: A Guide for Nurseries explains these concepts further and was created for wholesalers and retailers to explore, encourage, and implement pollinator friendly pest-management in the nursery business.


Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides: Fungicide Impacts on Pollinators

From large farms to small backyard gardens, many people use fungicides to control plant pathogens. While insecticides have long been recognized as a threat to bees and other beneficial insects, fungicides have generally been assumed to be relatively harmless. Though most fungicide exposures won’t kill a bee immediately, a growing body of research suggests that some fungicides can cause subtle yet significant harm. This Xerces Society fact sheet delves into how these impacts on pollinators occur, and offers mitigation measures and alternative pest management strategies.


Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

These Xerces Society guidelines provide a brief overview of how to select and apply pesticides for organic farm operations while minimizing pollinator mortality. Many of the practices outlined here for protecting pollinators also can help to protect beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps and flies; predaceous wasps, flies, and beetles; ambush and assassin bugs; lacewings; and others. The presence of these insects can further reduce pest pressure and the need for chemical treatments.


Common Organic-Allowed Pesticides: A Comparative Overview

Intended as a companion document to Organic Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, this fact sheet is intended to be a quick reference to help you select and use organically-approved pesticides with the least impact on bees and other beneficial insects.


Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids in Your Garden

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that are used widely on farms, as well as around our homes, schools, and city landscapes. This Xerces Society brochure explains why they are a risk to bees, gives examples of neonicotinoid garden products, and gives some simple tips for protecting bees from these insecticides.


How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees: The Science Behind the Role These Insecticides Play in Harming Bees

In this Xerces Society report, we present an overview of research that clearly documents neonicotinoid impacts on bees. The report also covers what can be inferred from existing research, and identifies knowledge gaps that will need to be filled to allow for better-informed decisions about the future use and regulation of these chemicals.


Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Agriculturally Important Beneficial Insects

This Xerces Society report details potential negative impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on important beneficial insects. It also makes recommendations on how we can better protect important beneficials like beetles and wasps.


Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters: A Preliminary Review of Potential Risk to Aquatic Invertebrates

This Xerces Society report demonstrates how the health of California’s rivers and streams are at risk from contamination from pesticide use. This report summarizes the state’s water quality monitoring data, provides an in-depth look at the latest research into the risks neonicotinoids pose to aquatic invertebrates, and includes recommendations for action.


Protecting California’s Waters from Neonicotinoid Contamination: Maintaining Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems

California’s waters are at risk from current uses of neonicotinoid insecticides. This fact sheet summarizes Xerces’ findings from our report, Neonicotinoids in California’s Surface Waters. It examines the risks to rivers and streams, as well as other ecosystems, and recommends that regulators take action now to address the issue in the state.


Supporting Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management: Protecting Pollinators from Pesticides

This Xerces Society fact sheet provides a brief overview of mosquito management methods that protect both people and pollinators, plus two case studies in effective mosquito management.


How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides 

This detailed guide, produced jointly by the extension services of Oregon State University, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho, offers guidance on how to select and apply insecticides. Extensive tables list the toxicity to bees of dozens of chemicals and how long after application they remain hazardous to bees in the field.


IPI Database

The IPI database contains summaries of research articles on pesticides, their effects on invertebrates, and pesticide movement in the environment. Articles have been reviewed and summarized to highlight key findings by Xerces Society staff.


Bee Precaution Database
This database, managed by UC IPM, provides guidance on how to reduce bee poisoning, based on reported pesticide effects on adults and brood of honey bees and other bee species and includes pesticide ratings. 


Identification & Monitoring Resources

Beneficial Insect Scouting Guide and Datasheets
Pollinators and other beneficial insects, such as natural enemies of crop pests, can contribute significantly to pest management and crop pollination. This protocol is designed to assess populations of pollinators and natural enemies on a farm. It can also be useful in assessing the quality of habitat for beneficial insects in a natural area.

Community Scientist Pollinator Monitoring Guide: California

An instructional handbook for native bee survey efforts, used in the Xerces Society’s California Community-Scientist Bee Monitoring Course. This handbook assists users in identifying native bees to broad morphological categories for assessing general pollinator abundance and diversity.


Community Science Monitoring Guide—California Pocket Guide

A pocket-sized printable field version of the taxonomic native bee groups described the California Community-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide.


Streamlined Bee Monitoring Protocol for Assessing Pollinator Habitat

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.


Pocket Guide to Identifying the Western Bumble Bee

A full color print-and-fold guide to the Western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.


Bumble Bees of the Western United States

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 Western United States. Each bee species has information on preferred food plants, nesting biology, seasonal activity patterns, identification guidelines, and distribution maps.


Native Seed & Plant Vendors

Milkweed Seed Finder

As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation page or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage.


Bay Natives, San Francisco, CA

Bay Natives carries rare and endemic Bay Area native plants plus many species from across the state of California.


California Flora Nursery, Fulton, CA
Cal Flora is a small unconventional nursery devoted to natives and habitat gardening with an exceptional diversity of offerings. We are knowledgeable and experienced with attention to local Bay Area needs and conditions. Most plants are propagated on site.

The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship, Windsor, CA

The Center's Native Plant Nursery propagates containerized California native plants and drought tolerant plants.


Central Coast Wilds, Santa Cruz, CA

Central Coast Wilds nursery specializes in native plants throughout the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas, wholesale.


Cornflower Farms, Elk Grove, CA

Cornflower Farms offers California native grasses, wildflowers and aquatic plants.


El Nativo Growers, Inc., Azusa, CA

El Nativo Growers, Inc. sells groundcovers, shrubs, trees, perennials and grass. Wholesale only.


Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery, Moss Landing, CA

Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery provides California native plants and seeds, wholesale and retail.


Floral Native Nursery, Chico, CA
Specialized plant nursery in Northern California that grows and sells California Native Plants for contracts, wholesale, and retail.


Grow Native Nursery, Claremont and Los Angeles, CA

Grow Native Nursery offers native California plants, advice from expert staff, and water-wise solutions for home landscapes.


Hedgerow Farms, Winters, CA

Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects.rnHedgerow Farms specializes in seed of California native grasses, sedges, rushes and forbs, and also sells plug plants.


Intermountain Nursery, Prather, CA

Intermountain Nursery offers bareroot material of trees native to California.


Larner Seeds, Bolinas, CA

Larner sells wildflower, grass, shrub, and tree seed native to California.


Las Pilitas Nursery, Escondido, CA and Santa Margarita, CA

Las Pilitas Nursery offers a diverse selection of plant material of California native trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs.


Middlebrook Gardens Nursery, San Jose, CA

Middlebrook Gardens Native Plant Nursery provides native plants from California plant communities.


Moosa Creek Nursery, Valley Center, CA

Moosa Creek is a wholesale nursery that specializes in California native plants.


Mostly Natives Nursery, Tomales, CA

Mostly Natives provides native and drought-tolerant plants suitable for the northern California climate.


Native Here Nursery, Berkeley, CA

Native Here Nursery offers plants that are native to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in California.


Native Revival Nursery, Aptos, CA

Native Revival Nursery provides containerized native California trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and perennials, as well as seeds of Santa Cruz County wildflowers.


Native Sons, Inc., Arroyo Grande, CA

Native Sons is a wholesale nursery that provides native California perennials, grasses and shrubs as well as flora from other areas with a Mediterranean climate.


Native West Nursery, San Diego, CA

Native West Nursery (formerly Recon Native Plants) is a wholesale nursery that offers plant species native to the southwestern United States.


Pacific Coast Seed, Tracy, CA
Since 1985, Pacific Coast Seed has been providing seed and other materials for diverse applications in erosion & sediment control, restoration & reclamation, and in the turf & ornamental landscape industries throughout Northern California and Northwest Nevada.


S&S Seeds, Carpinteria, CA

S&S is a wholesale seed supplier of wildflowers, trees, shrubs, grasses and native plants of California.


San Marcos Growers, Santa Barbara, CA

San Marcos Growers is a wholesale nursery that sells native California plants as well as plants from other Mediterranean climates.


Seedhunt, Freedom, CA

Seedhunt provides seeds of native central California wildflowers.


Sierra Valley Farms, Beckwourth, CA

Sierra Valley Farms offers (retail and wholesale) native high elevation plants native to California and Nevada.


Tarweed Nursery and Landscape, Los Angeles, CA

Tarweed is a retail nursery that offers plants native to Southern California.


Theodore Payne Nursery, Sun Valley, CA

Theodore Payne Nursery sells California native plants in their nursery and native plant seeds and seed mixes online.


Tree of Life Nursery, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Tree of Life is a wholesale and retail nursery which provides California native plant material and also wildflower seed mixes.


Watershed Nursery, Point Richmond, CA
Bay Area nursery with hundreds of native plant species.


Yerba Buena Nursery, Woodside, CA

Yerba Buena Nursery provides a wide variety of plants native to California.

California Central Valley Pollinator & Beneficial Insect Seed Mix

Produced by Hedgerow Farms, this seed mix has been formulated based on field trials and monitoring conducted by the Xerces Society, the NRCS, Hedgerow Farms and the William’s lab at UC–Davis.  This mix is designed to provide permanent, high quality foraging resources for a diversity of pollinators and other beneficial insects.


California Central Coast / Southern California Pollinator & Beneficial Insect Seed Mix

Produced by S&S seeds, this seed mix has been formulated based on field trials and monitoring conducted by the Xerces Society and other conservation partners. This mix is designed to provide permanent, high quality foraging resources for a diversity of pollinators and other beneficial insects. 


Cover Crop Seed Mixes

Almond/ Orchard Annual Insectary Cover Crop Seed Mix
Produced by S&S seeds, this seed mix has been formulated based on field trials and monitoring conducted by the Xerces Society and other conservation partners. This mix contains native and non-native forbs, brassicas and legumes. It consists of spring and early summer blooming annuals and is designed for almond orchards or other situations where early maturing annuals are desired. Most of the species break down quickly after mowing. If managed properly, many species self-sow.  Please contact [email protected] for more information about purchasing this seed mix.
Vineyard/ Orchard Perennial Insectary Cover Crop Seed Mix
Produced by S&S seeds, this seed mix has been formulated based on field trials and monitoring conducted by the Xerces Society and other conservation partners. This mix contains native and non-native forbs and brassicas. It consists of both perennial and annual species and provides bloom from spring through fall, as well as winter cover. It is designed for vineyards, apple orchards, or other situations where perennial cover and long season bloom are desired. Please contact [email protected] for more information about purchasing this seed mix.
Walnut Orchard Cover Crop Seed Mix
Produced by S&S seeds, this seed mix has been formulated based on field trials and monitoring conducted by the Xerces Society and other conservation partners. This mix contains native and non-native forbs, brassicas and legumes. It consists of early-maturing annual species, and is designed for walnut orchards or other situations where primarily large-seeded, early maturing or shade tolerant species are desired. If managed properly, some species self-sow. Please contact [email protected] for more information about purchasing this seed mix.

Further Reading

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)

The NRCS is one of Xerces’ most important partners in pollinator conservation. For over a decade, Xerces has helped train NRCS conservation planners, helped to develop 100s of conservation plans, implemented dozens of demonstration projects, and worked together closely to help implement the pollinator conservation provisions of the U.S. Farm Bill. 


Farming for Bees

Farming for Bees outlines ways to protect and enhance habitat for native crop pollinators in the farm landscape. Containing a wealth of information about common groups of native bees, their habitat requirements, and conservation strategies to increase their numbers on farms.


Attracting Native Pollinators

Attracting Native Pollinators offers the latest understanding on creating and managing pollinator habitat. Illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of specially created illustrations, this book will help you make room for the pollinators that you love. 


100 Plants to Feed the Bees

100 Plants to Feed the Bees identifies the plants that honey bees and native bees – as well as butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds – find most nutritious, including flowers, trees, shrubs, herbs, and pasture plants.


Habitat Planning for Beneficial Insects

This publication outlines the ecology of many native beneficial insect groups and highlights recommended strategies for conservation biological control—the practice of providing habitat for insects that attack crop pests. While native predator and parasitoid insects alone may not solve all of a producer’s pest problems, they can be an important part of an Integrated Pest Management system and contribute to reduced need for pesticides over time.


Farming with Native Beneficial Insects

This comprehensive guide describes how to recognize these insects and their habitat, and how to evaluate, design, and improve habitat for them. Close-up photography and in-depth profiles familiarize you with more than 20 beneficial insects and their kin. Step-by-step illustrated instructions detail specific solutions including native plant field borders, mass insectary plantings, hedgerows, cover crops, buffer strips, beetle banks, and brush piles.


Western Monarch Call to Action

This Western Monarch Call to Action, led by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, aims to provide a set of rapid-response conservation actions that, if applied immediately, can help the western monarch population bounce back from its critically low overwintering size. We recognize and support longer-term recovery efforts in place for western monarchs.


Western Monarchs Are in Trouble: This Is How You Can Help

In this document we offer simple steps that any individual can take to help support the western monarch population. This is intended as a companion document to the Western Monarch Call to Action, linked in the Related Resources list.


Gardening For Butterflies

Gardening for Butterflies will introduce you to a variety of butterflies that need help and provides suggestions for native plants to attract them, habitat designs to help them thrive, and garden practices to accommodate all their stages of life. Home gardeners will learn how to design a butterfly garden, no matter the size of their space.


Building Climate Resilience into Pollinator Habitat Restoration in the Central Valley

In California, climate change is expected to cause higher temperatures, more frequent and longer heat waves, and increased drought frequency and severity. Extreme weather events will also become more common. These challenges posed by climate change are extensive, but there are ways you can increase climate resilience for pollinators in your yard, neighborhood park, or whole community. 


Climate change will have a variety of effects on pollinators, but there are actions we can take to improve climate resilience of pollinators in our communities.  This series of fact sheets addresses ways to create climate-smart pollinator habitat in a variety of landscapes.

     Climate-Smart Right-of-Way Habitat

     Climate-Smart Natural Habitat

     Climate-Smart Agricultural Habitat

     Climate-Smart Urban Habitat


Insectary Cover Crop Case Studies for California

The case studies below analyze the multiple natural resource benefits of pollinator habitat features in different cropping systems throughout California and identify some of the motivations for, and barriers to, adoption. They also include data on habitat establishment, beneficial insect populations and soil health, using simple protocols.

    Insectary Habitat Trial: California Mixed Vegetable Farm
    Insectary Cover Crop Trial: California Apple Orchard
    Insectary Cover Crop Trial: California Almond Orchard


Yolo Natural Heritage Program (NCP/NCCP) Pollinator Conservation Strategy

Written by Xerces Society scientists, this first-of-its-kind conservation strategy summarizes the threats facing native bees and identifies conservation measures that can be taken within the diverse landscapes, including agriculture, grasslands, woodlands, shrubland, riparian, and urban.