Certification Overview

Graphic illustrating that 5% of the certified crop acreage needs to be maintained as habitat

Start with Habitat

The first step to protecting pollinators is providing abundant sources of pollen and nectar throughout the growing season. We ask farmers to dedicate a minimum 5% of their land to habitat. Habitat can be a mixture of permanent features, such as hedgerows, and temporary resources, including flowering cover crops.

Graphic with an image of a green metallic sweat bee emerging from a ground nest, with an illustration of ground nest cells in the upper corner of the image

Provide Native Plants

Like us, pollinators need a place to call home. A diverse set of native plants that flower throughout the seasons will provide pithy-stems for cavity-nesting bees, undisturbed ground and cover for soil-nesting bees, and butterfly host plants so butterflies have a place to lay their eggs.

Graphic illustrating the spatial buffer between the end of almond rows and adjacent habitat.  The buffer is a farm road.

Protect Pollinators from Pesticides

Prevention, mitigation and protection are all part of the Bee Better strategy for minimizing the exposure of pollinators to pesticides. A comprehensive pest management strategy includes monitoring, using non-chemical practices as a first line of defense, targeting pesticide use, and limiting or eliminating the use of high risk pesticides (as determined by the UC IPM Bee Precaution ranking).

Illustrated graphic showing managed bumble bees enclosed in a green house for crop pollination with a wild foraging bee outside of the green house.

Manage Your Managed Bumble Bees

Managed bumble bees can transfer diseases to wild bumble bees. If using managed bumble bees, only use native species that have been reared within their range, and restrict managed bumble bee use to sealed, controlled environments.

Clip art of a clip board with a checklist and a large checkmark

Get Verified

Farms are inspected by third-party approved Certifiers to ensure all conditions required by the Program Standards are being met.


For a more detailed Step-By-Step please consult the Bee Better Application Instructions

1. Determine whether your farm meets the Bee Better Certified Production Standards using our Farm Management Assessment Guide.

2. If your farm does not meet the standards, add habitat or alter your pesticide, tillage, or bumble bee management practices. You can work with the Xerces Society to help your farm meet the Standards. Visit the Pollinator Conservation Resource Center for technical resources.

3. Outline how your farm meets the standards in your farm-specific Bee Better Certified Plan (BBCP) in the Document Center. Compile additional Required Records to demonstrate compliance (e.g., pesticide use records).

4. Submit your BBCP, Required Records, and a Bee Better Application (found in the Document Center) to an approved Certifier.

5. Your Certifier will contact you to set up a farm inspection.

6. Your Certifier will issue a certification decision based on the farm inspection and review of your BBCP.

7. License the Bee Better Certified Seal to display on your farm, farmstand, or products.

Understanding the Application Materials

Sample Farm Plan for Bee Better Certified

The following documents provide an example of a Bee Better Certified Farm Plan and the associated supporting documents.

Please note that application completion is subject to the discretion of third-party certifiers and this sample plan serves only as an example.

Sample Farm Plan

Supporting Documentation – Maps & Habitat Plant Lists

Supporting Documentation – Pest Management Documents

Ready for More?

Visit our Document Center to find our Production Standards, forms, and all the resources you need to complete the certification process. Check out our Consultation Services for help getting certified.

Looking for other financial or technical assistance?

There are many options for funding and getting help with habitat work on your farm including:

To learn more please contact [email protected].