USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has conservation partners including the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to help farmers plan and implement conservation practices to benefit bees and other pollinators. Through a new certification program called Bee Better Certified (BBC), agricultural producers can show consumers how their farming practices benefit bees.
Through a USDA grant, the Xerces Society partnered with Oregon Tilth to develop and launch the BBC program. Xerces Executive Director Scott Hoffman Black says the program is working with conservation-minded farmers to meet consumers’ growing interest on how their food choices impact bees.
“Many species of bees have suffered declines over the years, but by creating habitat and reducing pesticide use, Bee Better is generating meaningful change on working farms, helping to preserve crop pollinators, and the valuable services they provide to farmers,” Black said.
The project received a $350,000 NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) last year, funds matched by Xerces. CIG supports public-private innovation to drive next-generation conservation efforts.