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Habitat for Bees and Beneficials – Planting wildflowers to provide forage for managed and wild bee populations is becoming an increasingly popular and widespread tool to bolster pollinators across North America.  To date little quantitative formation has existed to quantify their ability to support pollinators and thus rigorously justify the cost and effort of installation. The results from our project provide the first robust information to support these actions as a valuable means to improve wild bee abundance and biodiversity in agricultural lands.  Pollinator habitat plantings provide measurable benefits for bees across regions and represent a valuable return for investment.  We recommend the best performing plants for each region.

Here we provide guidelines for Establishing Pollinator Habitat in Almond Landscapes for central and northern growing regions of California.

Streamlined Bee Monitoring Protocol for Assessing Pollinator Habitat – Developed in collaboration with Rutgers University, Michigan State University, and The Xerces Society, this guide provides instructions for assessing pollinator habitat quality and diversity by monitoring native bees. It was developed for conservationists, farmers, land managers, and restoration professionals to document how native bee communities change through time in pollinator habitats. It includes an introduction to bee identification, a detailed monitoring protocol, and data sheets for different habitat types.

These guidelines were developed using three years of field data comparing bee diversity and abundance with various sampling intensities. The result is a straightforward native bee sampling protocol that can be conducted with minimal training and time. This protocol only requires that the user be able to differentiate native bees from other insects visiting flowers during two half-hour visits per location per year.



Choice of plant species to use in pollinator habitats is a often cryptic and overwhelming.  We provide a ranking of best performing plant species for Northern California developed through quantitative research on plant performance and pollinator use from working almond landscapes.

Ranked best performing native wildflowers for orchard landscapes