Bee Better Blog

  • Intrinsically Linked: Why Climate-Smart Agriculture Must Not Neglect Biodiversity
    A recent development in agriculture has been the rise of climate-focused farming, sometimes called regenerative agriculture, carbon-farming, or climate-smart agriculture. Whatever we call it, this philosophical approach is often presented as a menu of practices that promote soil building as a way to keep carbon in the ground to help avoid the climate crisis. Agriculture is the single … Read more
  • Habitat Installation on California Vineyards
    Despite the setbacks and challenges brought to every industry by the pandemic this year, our staff has been working closely with four different vineyards in three major winegrape regions of California providing both technical and financial support to help these vineyards achieve Bee Better Certification. This work is a continuation of our efforts to expand … Read more
  • Bee Better Certified in South America
    Do you have avocados on your counter, in your refrigerator, or in your lunch? When you next visit your local market or grocery, take a look at where the avocados for sale are grown. In many instances, the answer is Mexico, as it is the world’s largest producer. However, as the world’s appetite for avocados … Read more
  • A Bee Better Harvest
    As the harvest season nears its end in the Northwestern U.S., we hope the team at the Zirkle Fruit company will have some time to sit back and celebrate their recent achievements. One of these  is their expansion of Bee Better Certified blueberries and cherries.  Having worked closely with the folks at Zirkle Fruit for … Read more
  • Vilicus Farms: Growers of Bee Better Certified Specialty Grains, Pulses, and Oilseed Crops

    Vilicus Farms can and does offer direct CPG/food manufacturer/processor contracting on their organic and Bee Better Certified crops.

  • Bee Better Certified: Protecting Bees and Providing a Level Playing Field for Farmers and the Companies that Support Them

    Protecting Bees and Providing a Level Playing Field for Farmers and the Companies that Support Them

  • Launching Bee Better Certified in California Vineyards
    Year three has been full of excitement and growth for Bee Better Certified.  In addition to hosting field days and celebrating the launch of newly certified products, we are continuing the expansion and exploration of Bee Better Certified across a diverse array of cropping systems. With over 600,000 acres of winegrape vineyards in California, this industry … Read more
  • Arriving in Stores: Bee Better Certified Blueberries

    The first product licensed to display the Bee Better Certified seal is now arriving in stores.

  • Bee Better Certified Engages the Almond Industry
    With a robust set of requirements on pesticide use and the highest standards for protecting and restoring pollinator habitat of any food certification, Bee Better Certified represents a new era in biodiversity protection on farms—and what better time to celebrate this program’s growth than during Earth Week? We’ve been working hard to launch BBC within … Read more
  • Bee Better One Year In: Off To An Amazing Start

    It’s been just over a year since the official launch of Bee Better Certified.  Read more for a look back at was has been accomplished thus far.

  • From the Field: A Visit to Klickitat Canyon Vineyard

    Bee Better Certified staff paid a visit to this “ecodynamic” vineyard to discuss their Bee Better Certified application

  • Sran Family Orchards becomes first Bee Better Certified grower
    Sran Family Orchards, the world’s largest grower of organic almonds, has long committed to sustainable farming, with flower-rich pollinator habitat an integral part of the almond orchards. This investment recently paid off when Sran Family Orchards gained certification as a Bee Better Certified grower.
  • Unpacking the standards: Pesticide exposure routes
    Pesticide risk to bees is not simple or straightforward. There is indirect risk, such as when an herbicide application kills flowering plants thus limiting bees’ ability to gather pollen and nectar. There are also many direct risks that are not fully understood, such as the full effects of some fungicides on bees. For direct harm … Read more
  • Unpacking the standards: A closer look at pesticide buffers
    If you’ve followed our “Unpacking the Standards” series, you’ve probably noticed that Bee Better Certification requirements work together to respond to the risks of supporting pollinators on working farms. Each section of the standards adds support for healthy bee populations, but only when implemented together do they form a cohesive, successful whole The interdependence of … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Neonicotinoids
    Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used in agricultural and urban settings. Released in the mid-1990s as an alternative to older organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoid insecticides are highly toxic to many invertebrates, including bees. They are systemic, meaning they are absorbed and retained in plant tissues, making all parts of the plant toxic to insects. Even … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Fungicides and Mixtures
    While insecticides have long been recognized as a threat to bees, fungicides have generally been assumed to be relatively harmless. However, a growing body of research suggests that certain fungicides can be directly and/or indirectly harmful to bees. Additionally, some combinations of pesticides, including some fungicide/insecticide mixtures, may increase the toxicity of one or both … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Bloom-Time Ban on Pesticide Applications
      Bee Better Certified growers use management practices that improve the resilience of their crops and reduce the likelihood of pest outbreak. They also keep track of pest populations on their farm through scouting and monitoring to know when, and if, a pesticide or other intervention is needed to manage a problem that poses economic … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Preventive Pest Management
    Pesticide use can have negative impacts on wild and managed bees living and foraging in agricultural areas. Some pesticides are deadly even at low doses, while others can have less overt,  yet equally troublesome effects on bees – compromising navigation, foraging, and reproductive abilities, which may contribute to long-term population decline. While insecticides cause the … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Tillage Practices
    Roughly 70% of wild, native bees nest below-ground – in North America, that’s about 2,500 species of bees! On farms, ground-nesters can be found nesting in active crop fields, fallow fields, orchard floors, dirt roads, irrigation canals, wildflower plantings, below hedgerows, and in nearby natural areas. Because bees nest in the ground in and around … Read more
  • Digging Deep: An inside look at how bees nest
    Wild bees make their homes in a variety of surprising places, from snail shells to embankments to inside plant stems.  They also use an impressive array of building materials, including mud, flower petals and resin.  Despite this incredible diversity of nesting preferences, we can group bee nesting habits into three primary groups: below-ground nesters, above-ground … Read more
  • Answering the call: Bee Better provides a much-needed opportunity for farmers
    What does it take to create lasting pollinator habitat in agriculture? A new article in the Journal of Ecology published the same day Bee Better Certified was launched highlights incentive programs as a way to reward farmers for their pollinator conservation efforts and help them re-invest in those efforts over time.  Incentive programs, like Bee … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Insectary Strips
    Flowering insectary strips are an excellent strategy for supporting pollinators and other beneficial insects on farms.  Planted along field edges or directly within fields, these strips help ensure that flowering habitat is in close proximity to the crop fields where pollination and pest control services are most needed.  Insectary strips can be temporary (annual) or … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Understory Habitat
    Understory habitat refers to areas that can support flowering plants and grasses beneath or between existing crops such as berries, grapes or orchard fruits. Understory habitat helps bring pollination and pest control services directly in amongst crops where they can provide the most benefit. Understory crops can also aid in weed suppression, erosion control, and … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Filter Strips
    Filter strips are a great opportunity for adding habitat to meet habitat minimums while utilizing existing site features. Filter strips can be designed to reduce flow of sediment, excess nutrients, and pesticides into waterways, which can help improve water quality, reduce flooding, and ensure healthier populations of aquatic invertebrates.  Filter strips may be dry for … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Mass Flowering Crops
    Mass-flowering crops refer to agricultural crops that provide abundant floral resources during their bloom period, which is often over a short period of time. Examples of mass-flowering crops are almond, blueberry, canola, and sunflower. Mass-flowering crops have been shown to support a wide array of pollinators and provide critical short-term resources, especially in agricultural landscapes … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Meadows
    Wildflower meadows are permanent plantings of nectar- and pollen-rich plants, and can also contain native grasses or sedges. While meadows host both perennial and annual plant species, annual species tend to dominate in the early years, as they are early-successional species, with perennials generally taking over as the meadow matures. Wildflower meadows often require periodic … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Beetle Banks
    Beetle banks invite natural pest control into your fields. A beetle bank is a berm planted with native grasses and/or wildflowers which attracts and supports predaceous ground beetles and other beneficial insects. Decomposing wood may also be added to beetle banks to enhance the habitat opportunities for beetles and above-ground nesting bees. The predaceous beetles … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Flowering Cover Crops
    Cover crops are gaining increased attention for their ability to benefit soil health while also supporting pollination and pest control services. They can be used for erosion control, for adding nitrogen and organic matter to the soil, and to suppress weeds. To best support pollinators, cover crops need to contain flowering species that are allowed … Read more
  • Habitat Highlight: Hedgerows
    Hedgerows are linear rows of shrubby flowering plants that are most easily incorporated along field edges, or in areas that are inaccessible for production. Hedgerows can provide a privacy screen, prevent wind and water erosion, and support populations of beneficial pollinators and predatory insects. Hedgerows provide numerous benefits to wildlife. They are often a great … Read more
  • Unpacking the Standards: Habitat Requirements

    Habitat is the key ingredient for pollinator protection. It provides the flowers pollinators rely on for sustenance as well as the nest sites they call home. That’s why Bee Better Certified™ asks farms to dedicate at least 5% of their total farm area to pollinator habitat.

  • Western Farm Press
    Bee Better is generating meaningful change on farms, helping to preserve crop pollinators.
  • How Bee Better Meets a Bee’s Needs

    To ensure that Bee Better Certified™ is meaningful for bees, the Production Standards address bees’ primary needs: food, shelter, and a safe environment.

  • Making Almond Orchards Better for Bees

    Häagen-Dazs and Harris Family Farms set their sights on becoming the first product to carry the Bee Better Certified Seal.

  • Bee Better Certified Offers a New Approach to Protecting Pollinators
    New Farm and food certification program gives recognition to conservation-minded farmers and food companies that protect pollinators.
  • Bee Better Certified™: Creating Better Places for Bees

    Announcing a new farm and food certification program, Bee Better Certified™—the first third-party certification program in the world focused specifically on pollinator conservation.

  • In Good Tilth: It’s Time to Bee Better
    A New Certification from the Xerces Society and Oregon Tilth Aims to Restore Pollinator Habitat