14 Jessa Kay Cruz – Creating Pollinator Habitat Around Farms (in English)

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Speaker 1: From the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is Pollination, a podcast that tells the stories of researchers, land managers, and concerned citizens making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators. I'm your host, Dr. Adoni Melopoulos, assistant professor in pollinator health in the Department of Horticulture. Frequent listeners of the Pollination podcast know that creating pollinator habitat in agricultural landscapes has to be a key element of any comprehensive strategy for pollinator health.

But this is easier said than done. Think of it from a farmer's perspective. They already have a lot going on and they may not have clear answers to questions like where would I put this habitat? How would I prepare the site?

What kind of plants would I select? And for this reason, I'm really excited to welcome Jessa K. Cruz from the Xerces Society to this episode. Now, Jessa is Xerces senior pollinator conservation specialist and she's based in Sacramento, California. And since 2008, she's been working closely with landowners and farmers in addressing these questions, developing tools and resources, kind of thinking through their misconceptions and developing strategies for how to overcome them. So this episode is really packed with very operational information and really great strategies for talking with growers. I really hope you enjoy the episode. Hi, Jessa. We're so excited to have you on pollination this week. Thanks.

Speaker 2: I'm really happy to be here.

Speaker 1: We know it's a real busy time for you in the field, so we really appreciate you making some time in your schedule for us. Not a problem. Well, I want to start by asking you, you see a lot of agricultural landscapes in your work. Can you paint us a picture of the typical flowering plant diversity and the kinds of impacts this has on pollinator communities?

Speaker 2: Well, one thing I think that has happened with modern agriculture that's really unfortunate is that we really lost biodiversity in our agricultural systems. People are sort of using the fence post, which is what we call it, fence post to fence post farming, which means that really every bit of land available to crop production is utilized. And, you know, the land is really expensive. There's a lot of competition to maximize yields. There's a lot of reasons that that type of agriculture is practiced. The result is that I feel like people aren't looking at agricultural systems as ecosystems anymore.

They're really just being looked at as sort of maximizing production value and not as sort of valued for just other values. So I guess the result, to go back to your question, the result is that there's really been a loss of flowering species in our natural or in our agricultural landscapes. There's just not a lot out there that's not crop land. And the result of sort of a loss of these natural remnant habitats that used to exist in agricultural areas. And the result of that is really we've been losing not just our flowering species, but we've been losing a lot of our pollinators, like native bees and butterflies that really rely on those little patches of remnant habitat in agricultural areas too. It's a flourish and to persist.

Speaker 1: So when we see homogenization of those plant communities, there is this real kind of negative effect on the pollinator communities.

Speaker 2: Homogenization is a great word for it because that's really what it is. And the result, I mean, if you imagine like even a mass flowering crop blooms for a certain period of time, two weeks or three weeks. And for that period of time, there's lots and lots of floral resources. But as soon as that crop is done blooming, there's nothing in the landscape for pollinators to eat floral resources, basically our food. And once that's gone, there's nothing for those insects to eat.

Speaker 1: That's a really good point. And I guess when people look at flowers in an agricultural setting, they see an almond orchard and they see all those flowers. They may be under the impression that, oh, this must be just great. There's so many flowers all at once. But I think what you're saying is that this is not necessarily the case. Right.

Speaker 2: It might be great while it's blooming, but when it's done, there's, you know, we call it a food desert for bees. There's nothing for them to forage on. And again, because those little patches of remnant habitat that used to exist along the edges of farmland or along the farm roads, those have almost disappeared.

Yeah. At the very edge of the farm road now is the beginning of the crop. So like again, once those crops are done blooming, there just isn't or just aren't resources for pollinators.

Speaker 1: Fence post the fence post paradigm, as you were as you were saying.

Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1: So that really, I guess, puts growers in a position to be, you know, you know, potentially driving some of this decline of habitat, but also may put them in a position of actually being the stewards of being able to increase this habitat. When you talk to growers about these issues, I'm sure many of them are really concerned. What are some of their concerns about trying to bring this into their farm? Well, I mean, I think

Speaker 2: by and large, you know, farmers are stewards of the land and they they see themselves that way. So I think a lot of their concerns are about through how to make some of these changes, how to bring habitat back onto their farm. I think they see the value of doing that pretty clearly by and large. So, you know, a lot of the concerns come down to practical concerns, like, you know, what is the cost of doing this?

How do I and how do I do it? How, you know, farmers or farmers, they're not necessarily restoration ecologists. Right.

So, you know, it's a very different set of skills. So, you know, for them, it's like, how do I get habitat established sort of back on my farm? Where do I put it? How do I manage it? Where do I put it?

You know, there's a little space left. And you know, they do have questions about, well, is it going to interfere with my crop production or how can I make sure that, you know, this habitat doesn't interfere with production? And in fact, you know, a lot of that habitat has the potential to actually help crop production if it's done correctly. So most of the concerns are really about about how to do it and how to pay for it and sort of how to make it fit inside a sort of management system that they're practicing.

Speaker 1: Yes, I want to pick up on what you just mentioned, because it seems like some of these maybe actually rational, you know, business concerns, but some of them maybe misconceptions. When you talked, you've had a lot of experience working with growers, what are some of the misconceptions that are kind of easily dealt with or that you can sort of work on when you're talking with growers?

Speaker 2: I think one of the largest misconceptions is that a plant, this great pollinator habitat somewhere on their farm, and this is especially a misconception for farmers who have pollinators depending on crops. So we'll just use almonds, for example. Some farmers are concerned that if they have things that are blooming, you know, so they have a hedge row, and they've got things that are blooming in their hedger with the same time that their almonds are blooming, they have this concern that, oh, are the bees, are they going to attract the bees away from my crop when I really need them there?

That's a big concern. And the reason that it's a misconception is that, you know, bees practice what's called floral constancy. So they will, once they sort of figure out how to access the pollen and nectar of a certain type of flower, they'll keep returning to that same flower over and over. So if you have, you know, this mass bloom that occurs like in an almond orchard, the bees are much more likely to be flying on those almonds because they figured it out, you know, they figured out how to access the goods. And there, you know, if you've got a hedger with a scattered bloom, you know, which is sort of how hedger is are a little bit of bloom here and there at one time, they're really unlikely to be attracted to that when you compare it to, you know, 500 acres of a single blooming crop.

So that's the misconception. And I think once we're able to sort of explain this idea of floral constancy and sort of the forging habits, once we're able to really communicate that, I think those those fears are really alleviated. The other misconception that is really common is farmers are sometimes concerned that these natural habitat areas are going to be alternate hosts.

That's a big concern. Because weedy patches, for example, are often alternate hosts for crop pests. You have a patch of mustard or malva or something next to your field, those are areas where pests can overwinter at certain times. So they have that same concern with natural habitat. What's interesting is there's a lot of research now that's gone into that. And research really shows that that is not the case. That well designed natural habitat, primarily native plants, aren't attractive to crop pests.

And in fact, sort of just the opposite, this is really great research coming out. Now seeing that those types of habitat, natural habitats with native plants can support natural enemies of crop pests. So they can support insects that are actually going to attack your crop pests and sort of reduce pest pressure. So, you know, not only are they not attracting pests, but they're actually doing the opposite.

They're attracting these sort of beneficial insects. And so there's like I said, there's a lot of great research now illustrating that. So a lot of it is just helping connect people with the research that that is out there. And hopefully, you know, continuing to fund and support this type of research, because it's really important. You know, those concerns are valid.

If I was a farmer, I would have those exact same concerns. And I would really want to know what's the science behind this, you know, before I adopted on my land. So having really big, strong science that supports answers these questions and these concerns is really important.

Speaker 1: I want to pick up on that point, because it seems like a lot of this work has been done over the years and a lot to the NRCS, but also in conjunction with Xerces. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the programs that NRCS offers that can help growers kind of deal with, you know, take this science and be able to translate it into something and then incentivize it for the growers? Can you walk us through that a little bit?

Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely. So as you said, Xerces Society has a long standing and really strong partnership in history with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. It goes back more than a decade. And we have now, I think, a dozen different partnership positions where we are working in direct partnership with the NRCS in, you know, 12 or 10 or 12 different states throughout the country. And so we're really, yeah, so we're really working directly with the NRCS to provide and to provide support for farmers who want to create habitat or who want to do something to help pollinators.

So there's a whole suite of different types of support that the NRCS provides. And just to give a little more background on the NRCS, they are unbrulled under the US Department of Agriculture, and they were CS formed actually right after the dust bowl when it became clear that farmers really needed some support in figuring out how to address issues of conservation in farming. They started out as the soil conservation organization. And they're well primarily in the beginning was obviously focused on soil health, because it was a sort of direct result of the dust bowl. But that is still their foundation, but they've expanded to look at all kinds of resources and ways to really support farmers in conserving resources and becoming more resilient in the way that they farm.

So for example, the NRCS will provide technical support. They'll meet with farmers, they'll, you know, do site visits where they tour the farm and talk in depth with farmers and assist with sort of whole farm planning with conservation in mind. So this could be, yeah, so this could be looking at water conservation, ways to protect soil, and of course, ways to protect pollinators. The great thing about the way the NRCS approaches this work is they try to look at all of these benefits sort of together when they're providing technical assistance.

So what can we do that will support pollinators that will also support soil health and also support, you know, more efficient use of water. So that kind of addressing resource concerns and providing technical assistance is a huge part of what the NRCS does and is a huge part of what Xerces does sort of in collaboration with the NRCS. So we'll go out with the farm planners and sort of provide our expertise on pollinating their conservation. The other thing the NRCS does that I think is really critical is they have a series of cost share programs where they will provide financial support to offset the cost of basically adopting some of these conservation practices. So, you know, if a farmer wanted to upgrade to a more efficient type of irrigation system, that's a big cost. So sometimes the NRCS can step in and help offset that cost.

The farmers want to plan a hedgerow to support pollinators. Again, that's a cost. And so the NRCS, their program can pay anywhere from 50% all the way up to even 90% of the cost of adopting some kind of conservation oriented practice. And I think that's critical too because I feel like the cost, a lot of times that upfront cost for a farmer, even if they know it's going to pay off in the long run, can be really difficult, difficult to come up with an investment to do something that's conservation oriented on the farm.

Speaker 1: And I think that one thing I, as listeners know, I come from Canada, so I'm sort of new to this whole system, but I really love the Xerces publications because they go through each of the kind of categories for conservation and they highlight ways in which pollinators can be built into those different categories.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think that's a huge part of what makes that program really successful.

Speaker 1: So just to pick this up again, as a land owner, what are the key considerations for figuring out where to put pollinator habitat into your farm? As you mentioned, there is a kind of like fence post, defense post model and you know, the room might be a bit of a premium. Where do people generally find the space for putting pollinator habitat?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I mean a lot of that is tricky and some of it's just getting creative. You know there's often at least little small areas that we can find on the edge of farm roads or even as an understory in perennial cropping systems, equipment yards, storage sheds. There's all kinds of places that we can figure out how to sort of get habitat on the ground.

A lot of it's just thinking creatively. One of the key points though, especially if we're looking at something like understory habitat, is the ability of a farmer to protect the habitat areas from pesticides. And even with organic farmers, this can be an issue because even some organic pesticides are harmful to bees. So that's usually one of actually the first questions I'll ask a farmer when we're doing a farm tour. I mean identify sort of a potential area is what types of products they're using and if they're aware of sort of how some of these pesticides could impact pollinators and if they're willing to maybe take certain measures like providing a buffer, spatial buffer between a sprayed area and a habitat area for example. So those are some of the things that we address. And then there's practical concerns like are they able to irrigate that area?

What's the soil like? Can they access it? If it's way back in a corner, we don't want it to be completely forgotten about. So there's a lot of sort of practical elements too, but I think the ability to sort of protect from pesticides is really the most critical and everything sort of follows from there.

Speaker 1: And for listeners who missed that, we had a previous episode with the May Code from Xerces Society and we'll link below. There's a really nice new publication from Xerces on specifically protecting habitat from pesticide exposure. It's really a great tool for growers who are trying to think about that dimension.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. Yeah, Bay has done amazing work in that area at Xerces and I work really closely with her as well. So that you know just so that we're all sort of thinking about the same things together as an organization.

Speaker 1: That's really powerful. I did you know the other thing I wanted to move on to is the you know how to do this and I you sent me before the show some two really great technique booklets specific to California plant selection but also for hedgerows and also for non-hedgerow plantings of habitat, how to do it. And I want to get into that question. I guess the first question a lot of people ask is like how do you select the plants? Like how does one select the plants to put in? What are the considerations to keep in mind?

Speaker 2: Sure, absolutely. I mean that is sort of the first step. And so first and foremost we emphasize using native plants, plants that are native to the area where you're planting that occur naturally or are indigenous to the area. And there's several reasons for that. One is that probably the most obvious reason is that you know we are trying to support native pollinators whether that's you know bumblebees or monarch butterflies. And those native pollinators have sort of co-evolved with our native plants. So if we want to support the native pollinators we want to find the right host plants for them.

So that's sort of key. And then you know along the same lines native plants are generally best adapted to whatever particular conditions that you might be experiencing. So for us in California for example having plants that are really drought tolerant is incredibly important and you know some of our native plants are the most drought tolerant.

So that's a really key consideration. The other thing is it's important to realize that you know just because something blooms doesn't mean that it's super attractive to pollinators. Right you know and it's easy to just look at you know a pack of marigolds and say well they're flowering I want to plant those. And so we have partnered with a lot of universities that have done a whole lot of research really looking at which plants are the most attractive to pollinators in general. Information about which plants are specific host plants for where declining or endangered species. Obviously you know we've done a lot of work looking at the monarch butterfly and their only host plant for the larva is milkweed but there's a lot of different species of milkweed. So we've done a lot of work again identifying the native species and sort of what their ranges are. You know that's just one example but it definitely there's a lot of thought and research sort of that goes behind figuring out what to plant.

Speaker 1: I guess for a lot of people who are just new to the pollinator world it seems like the idea that certain bees will only visit a small subset of flowers might not be apparent. It's like a flower you know you should be able to get into it so what's the problem.

Speaker 2: Right and people said that to me too I have no idea. So picky. But you know I sort of point out to people that all organisms need good nutrition and if we as human beings only ate I don't know white bread every day we wouldn't be very healthy. And so and some of us have certain tastes in food and some parts of the world people can eat food that is so spicy that I can't even smell it without tears running down my face.

But for those folks you know it tastes wonderful. So bees are kind of just like people that way. They have different preferences and they need a good diversity of different sources of pollen. Different pollen actually provides different nutrients for bees so that that diversity is really important just like for us you know to think of our little food pyramid that's you just have to sort of try to translate that into the world of bees.

Speaker 1: Here's a question that I get asked often is people kind of get this idea of diversity but you know it gets complicated when you're dealing you know if you're doing you're planting something with one I mean you think about agriculture's like there's an efficiency in planting one species. And so how does one balance softest kind of you know diversity versus you know actually kind of getting it you know having something that's going to take off.

Speaker 2: Yeah and you know some of that depends on what somebody's particular goals are you know there's folks that are really focused for example on the monarch butterfly and we'll just do a mountain planting of milkweed because that's the only host plant but that's a little bit unique in the world of insects. So in general I feel like we really encourage people to plant a diversity of different types of plants.

Diversity is really the key. You never know I plan to say the same mix of wildflowers you know from from like a seed mix. I planted the same mix the same year in two different places for example and had completely different results you know.

Where I planted the same mix in the same place two different years and had totally different results. So I think that that's sort of why we look at diversity because if one or two things don't bloom you still got you know one year one or two things don't grow or germany we still have lots of other flowers that are gonna like fill in those gaps.

Speaker 1: So that's a great point and another thing I wanted to ask you the last thing on plant selection is notice in some of the lists there are non-flowering plants. What's the idea there things like bunch grass or I thought I saw something like juniper in some settings so what's what's that all about.

Speaker 2: So non-flowering plants particularly bunch grasses permafrost and shelter and nesting habitat bumblebees for example love to nest under bunch grasses in fact and also a lot of our predatory ground beetles and so predatory ground beetles are just really good to have around because they'll attack crop pests and they will also nest under bunch grasses so really it's just trying to provide sort of nesting or overwintering habitat for pollinators.

Speaker 1: And I guess being so bee-centric I have to blame my cards on the table I never think about butterfly host plants.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yep exactly that's a really critical piece of it too and I have to admit I'm pretty bee-centric as well. I know I know a lot less about butterflies and butterfly host plants but I do know that a lot of native bunch grasses are really critical host plants for butterflies as well so again thinking beyond pollen and nectar and thinking about other you know supporting insects in other stages of their life cycle or helping them you know for some shelter and overwintering or nesting habitat all of that is just as important as the floral resources.

Speaker 1: Well that's great so we've got our plants and I do I'm gonna make sure to make a link there's a great Xerces publication 100 plants to feed bees kind of like laying it down here if you want your top hundred and you want to kind of get to business here's the list.

Speaker 2: Yeah 100 plants to feed the bees was sort of created because of a demand people said we just we don't we just want to know what to plant and we want to know what to plant whether we are planting a hedgerow or whether we're just planting some things in a window box in our backyard because it's really important to realize that anybody can help pollinators even if you don't have a yard you know we plant some potted plants or if you're a farmer and you have you know two thousand acres you can plant the hedgerow and then there's everything in between you know city parks schools there's so many opportunities to create good habitat in our landscapes especially for pollinators so 100 plants to feed the bees was our attempt to sort of demystify that whole process and the confusion about plant selection and we looked at plants that were not only really excellent resources for pollinators but that were really relatively easy to establish so that people could have success with these types of planting so yeah it's a great book with beautiful pictures I can't take a whole lot of credit for it my my work was really on that book was you know sort of outside support but I think all of us at Dursties whether directly or indirectly did did contribute so that's great yeah I really recommend it

Speaker 1: well okay so look we've got our plants selected and I guess like you know there is this question of being able to get the land ready to get to accept these plants I think that's sometimes overlooked you can plan something and then it goes to weeds in a year give us you know when people are thinking about this problem what are some things to take in mind

Speaker 2: well I do agree with you unfortunately sort of the most tedious and least fun part of planting is sort of preparing the area and it's the step that everybody kind of wants to skip because it is sort of tedious but I would also say that it's sort of instrumental for success and I think we can all realize if you go out to a you know weed patch in your backyard and do nothing other than dig a hole and you know plant the ground it's probably not going to be super successful and whether it's your yard or you know a city park or a farm you want to start with you know relatively good soil you want to make sure the area is weed free before you put anything in the ground you want to think about your ability to irrigate especially if you're in a more arid climate just to sort of get things established you know so there's a lot of sort of spot and preparation that needs to go into planting and we at Dursey's have actually done a huge amount of work around this because that was one of the greatest barriers to success that we were experiencing especially for farmers people were disappointed because they were kind of going out and planting and then maybe finding a year or so down the road that their their you know pollinator garden had not established particularly well and so we've worked really hard to provide really solid technical guidance for folks um whether they're planting again a hedgerow or wildflower planting or just something in their backyard so that you know people sort of have the tools that they need to make these projects

Speaker 1: work and I again I would really encourage um following the links I was really you know looking at the guide for California just each of the steps and lots of options you know you can use a herbicide or if you choose not to use a herbicide using solarization to kill the weeds I also thought one of the real striking things in the publication sort of counterintuitive is not not turning the soil up that one might think as a farmer that you know you want to but you may have talked a little bit about that

Speaker 2: it's a really hard habit to break um and it's not just farmers almost anyone who talked to if you say okay we're gonna try to plant this new area the first thing they want to go do is go out there and kill it up you know because you think no I'm turning all this soil over I'm gonna have nice fresh soil um but what we found is that when you till you're actually pulling all the weed seeds up to the surface um so when you till you're actually creating problems that you're solving you know initially you may have to do one tillage just to get the soil loosened up it's sort of ready for planting because obviously you can't plant into soil that feels like cement um but after you till you're gonna need to have some time to manage the weeds and whether that's through solarization like you say which is a way of heating up the soil using sort of this energy of the sun to cook weed seeds in the soil um or you're using more conventional um herbicide applications you want to spend some time really flushing those weeds um out of the surface um and at or out of the soil and then once you've done that you don't want to disturb the soil again because if you till it again you're pulling out more weed seeds and starting again so yeah so trying to break people about how that is going out and just tilling has been really challenging but I I think when you when people understand the reason why it starts to be a little bit more intuitive yeah I don't keep pulling weed seeds up because I will tell you there is an endless seed bank of weed seeds in any soil anywhere and you can till forever and you will never exhaust you know the weed seeds in that soil profile so you just I really want to concentrate on what's on the top layer and not worry too much about the rest

Speaker 1: so we ask all our guests on pollination the same three questions we want to ask them of you today first one is is there a pollinator book that's really important or influential to you or that you really want people to know about

Speaker 2: well as we we were talking about a hundred plants to feed the bees and I absolutely love that book and I definitely recommend it to people um in terms of what was the most influential to me I'm sure everyone's gonna laugh but when I was a kid the story the very hungry caterpillar with my with my favorite book um I would read it over and over again and it was the miracle of this caterpillar turning into a butterfly that really captivated me and I actually think that that was sort of what got me um going in the direction of entomology so I recommend everyone read that book to your get book to your kids

Speaker 1: we've had a number of kids recommendations there was uh the B-man of Oren with Marie Sendak and also um the the school bus so yeah you're not the first okay the second question is when you're doing the kind of work that you do is there a tool that you just depend on it's really kind of like your go-to tool that you cannot do without

Speaker 2: well a lot of the tools on the Zorsi's website um I mean I participated in creating some of those tools but I still have to go back and use them over and over so that is one and then I think beyond that in California um Calflora is a fabulous website for native plants and just has great information um and then there's also a tool called B-man which is I think through UC IPM and it's a great interactive website and that helps you learn about the effects of pesticides on bees and sort of how to mitigate

Speaker 1: sorry Justin you cut out there but you said bee precaution right the UC Davis

Speaker 2: excellent yes yeah great resource really easy to use and I'm so happy it exists

Speaker 1: it's really great we we in Oregon are continually referring referring to this a great resource yeah okay well our last question for you is do you have a favorite pollinator species is there somebody when they fly by or crawl by that you're just like you're you know you're just like glad to see you

Speaker 2: well I'll tell you first I'm a mom with three kids and so my whole life is trying not to pick favorites because you don't ever want to make someone feel bad and I look at these the same way but I was out working in my garden yesterday and saw these blue orchard bees or Osmia Lake Naria um all over one of my penstemans and that is the bee that I did my senior thesis on so I do have a really special place in my heart for that bee but again I don't know if I could call it my favorite because then I feel like other bees that I also love

Speaker 1: okay so a qualified favorite I gotcha we were totally down with that well thanks again for taking the time to talk with us today and good luck this summer and all the work you're doing with creating pollinator habitat

Speaker 2: absolutely with my pleasure and thanks so much for having me

Speaker 1: thanks so much for listening show notes with information discussed in each episode can be found at pollinationpodcast.oregonstate.edu we'd also love to hear from you and there's several ways to connect for one you can visit our website to post an episode-specific comment suggest a future guest or topic or ask a question that can be featured in a future episode you can also email us at at [email protected]. Finally, you can tweet questions or comments or join our facebook or instagram communities just look us up at osu pollinator health if you like the show consider letting iTunes know by leaving us a review or rating it makes us more visible which helps others discover pollination see you next week

Bee habitat in agricultural landscapes is key element in any good strategy for pollinator health. But farmers have a lot going on and may not have clear answers to some important pollination questions.

Our guest is here to help us with these issues. Jessa Kay Cruz is the Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist for California with the Xerces Society.

Based in Sacramento, Jessa works closely with landowners and farmers, developing strategies for overcoming misconceptions when it comes to pollinators and their habitats.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“One thing that has happened with modern agriculture is that we really lost biodiversity in our agricultural systems..” – Jessa Kay Cruz

Show Notes:

  • How diverse agricultural landscapes are today compared to past decades
  • Why food deserts are being created for bees
  • How farmers can be stewards of the land
  • Some of the misconceptions about bees that growers have
  • How the Xerces Society provides support for farmers and growers
  • As a farmer, what are key considerations when you want to put in a pollinator habitat?
  • Why even some organic pesticides are harmful to bees and how to separate spray areas from habitat areas
  • How to select the plants to put in when making a habitat area
  • Why it’s important to plant a diversity of different types of plants
  • Why planting un-flowering plants can help create nesting areas for bees
  • How to prepare the habitat area before you plant
  • Why you might not want to till up the soil

“Bees are just like people that way, they have different preferences, and they eat a good diversity of different sources of pollen. And different pollen provides certain nutrients for bees.” – Jessa Kay Cruz

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