Pollinators aren’t just BEES!
They’re birds, bees, butterflies, moths, flies, ants, beetles, bats and even some other small mammals. Pollinators are AMAZING and humans need them for life! You can learn A LOT about what they do, what they need from us, and how YOU can have a positive impact by using information and resources found on this NRCS webpage. Check it out!
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
In the United States, the pollinators we depend on for most of our pollination services are bees, including the non-native European honeybee and more than 4,000 different species of native bees. Sadly, scientists have seen evidence of bee population declines--not only in the United States, but around the world. In order to turn things around, scientists and researchers encourage us to make some changes in the way we manage the land we live on and farm.
Amazing Fact: Of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world's food, more than 70 are pollinated by BEES!
NRCS KNOWS POLLINATORS!
It’s more important than ever that we work together to improve existing habitat and provide new habitat for pollinators. This is a major focus for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Illinois and across the country. Pollinator populations are one of many reasons why NRCS works closely with our many conservation partners and private landowners.
NRCS is concerned about bees and ALL pollinators. We can identify pollinator resource needs on your property and offer ways to improve pollinator habitat. NRCS can provide farmers with guidance and financial assistance to purchase seed, plants, and manage acres of pollinator habitat over the long-term. NRCS also compiles lists of native plant species your pollinators WANT and NEED to survive.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm, in the suburbs, or in an apartment on the 13th floor downtown.
There is always SOMETHING you can do to make the world a little more comfortable for pollinators.
PUBLICATIONS/RESOURCES FOR YOU…
NRCS can help YOU support the health and function of pollinators no matter where you live or how much land you have. Listed and shown below are descriptions of several publications that address pollinator issues here in Illinois. If the publication interests you, just click on the picture to access a PDF file you can download or print out.
Perilous Plight of the Pollinator – This colorful and fun brochure briefly explains the important role pollinators play in agriculture. It identifies native plants, trees, grasses, herbs, and flowers critical to ag production. The brochure raises awareness about issues pollinators face and encourages homeowners and landowners to plant species native to Illinois and valuable to pollinators. This publication is great for students and educators to increase general awareness about pollinator issues.
Pollinator Gardens - Design Guide – This 8-page booklet offers guidance on designing gardens for pollinators, steps for site preparation and maintenance. It includes schematic drawings on plant placement and offers specific native plant species suggestions and site preparation tips for success on Illinois soils. This publication is great for homeowners, landscape managers, educators, landowners, schools, and businesses—anyone interested in adding environmental improvements to small-scale sites. Includes full color photos of plants and blooms.
DOWNLOAD Pollinator Gardens (Design Guide) [PDF] 8-1/2x11 or 11x17
Pollinators: High Value Pollinator Plants – These one-page factsheets offer information about the best plant species to consider when designing landscapes and gardens that successfully support food and habitat needs of pollinators in Illinois. Species include native flowers, shrubs, trees, bunch grasses, and herbs. Each factsheet offers recommendations for species that will thrive in DRY, MOIST and WET sites. This publication is great for gardeners, homeowners, specialty crop growers, farmers and landowners of all types.
Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project – Monarch butterfly populations are down! This tri-fold brochure briefly discusses why Monarch butterflies are important to agriculture and describes NRCS’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project. Using conservation programs (EQIP, WRP, and CSP), landowners within the Monarch’s 9-state migration route can receive technical and financial assistance to plant different types of milkweed species as well as important nectaring plants. This publication is good for introducing options to farmers, landowners, or operators about NRCS program options.
Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project –This colorful, one-page factsheet shows the nine states that encompass the Monarch Butterfly’s migration route from Texas towards Canada. It explains why agricultural operations need Monarchs and informs farmers and landowners about the programs and assistance NRCS can provide to create the habitat they require. This publication is good for introducing farmers, landowners, and operators to program options.
Wildlife Habitat Planting – This is guidance material NRCS staff provides to farmers/landowners for specific recommendations and information needed to successfully establish conservation cover that supports pollinators on their land/acres. This publication is ideal for landowners who are ready to implement practices on their land.
Pollinator Biology & Habitat Technical Note – This 34-page flier provides detailed information on how to plan for, protect, and create pollinator habitat. Information is detailed, scientific, and highly technical. This publication is useful for landowners and farmers who are serious about learning more about pollinator habitat and the science and research behind it. Information offers specific guidance for establishment and long-term management of large habitat areas.
Monarch In The Making – This is a full color poster with close-up photographs that follow the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and finally to butterfly. This is perfect as supporting material for educators or for posting in classrooms.
DOWNLOAD Monarch in the Making (Poster) 24x36in [PDF]
Different Illinois locations have different environments, ecosystems, and soils that successfully support pollinator plant species to ensure local pollinators have what they need to survive and THRIVE. Find your EcoRegion on the map above and then download the sample seeding mix of species from the list below: