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Pollinators

Protecting our pollinators

Pollinators are essential in our backyards, communities, farms and ranches. They are necessary for a majority of crop production and flower regeneration, not to mention honey production and its vast benefits. Pollinators include birds, bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, bats and some other mammals.

In the United States, the pollinators we depend on for the majority of our pollination services are bees, including the non-native European honeybee and over 4,000 species of native bees. These tiny, beautiful, fascinating creates are responsible for one in every three bites of food we take, and account for nearly $15 billion in crop value each year.

Evidence of population declines of bees, not only in the United States, but also around the world, has prompted scientists to encourage changes in how we manage our public and private spaces. Pollinators do not recognize boundary lines between homes, businesses, schools, and farms. They make use of food and habitat anywhere it is found. It is important for every person to try to do their part to protect and enhance these important creatures.

Since 2009, NRCS has helped farmers and ranchers plant hedgerows – a line of closely spaced flowering trees, shrubs and plants that provide food and shelter for pollinators and beneficial insects. While research is ongoing to the best spacing and distance of hedgerows to nearby crops, simply having hedgerows improves the overall beneficial habitat for pollinator species. Furthermore, hedgerows can be replicated on a small scale in neighborhoods and schoolyards, to help expand the vast network of pollinator habitat across the country.

Videos

Fact Sheets and Success Stories

NRCS/Xerces California Pollinator Conservation Work

General Facts:

  • Value of pollinator-dependent crops in California = $11.7 billion. (Chaplin-Kramer et al 2011)

  • Number of miles of pollinator habitat planted in California through NRCS/Xerces partnership since 2013 = 21 miles.

  • Number of pollinator CAPs written in partnership w/Xerces since 2015 = 12.

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Updated: 06/21/2021