Many pollinators are in peril and the time is now to replenish pollinator habitat on the landscape where it matters most. This is why The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF) formed with leadership and support from Project Apis m., key stakeholders, and the beekeeping industry. The growing sense of urgency about honey bee health and monarch butterfly populations has created a unique ‘Moment in Time' when a broad collection of supporters have come together to support pollinator habitat efforts and make a difference.
Apply Now for 2018!
This year, the BBHF expanded efforts with a new habitat program called Seed A Legacy. The program is providing free, or deeply discounted, pollinator seed mixes to projects in 11 key states of the Midwest and Great Plains. The program is currently open to private, public and corporate lands for projects that will be established this spring.
Applications received after March 31st using the online application at http://beeandbutterflyfund.org/habitat-programs/seed-a-legacy-program will be considered for projects in the fall of 2018.
Different by Design
The Seed A Legacy program is unique in how it strategically designs and delivers pollinator habitat benefits. Seed mixtures provide four key objectives: 1) Increased pollinator benefits, 2) Cost-effective, 3) Establish quickly, and 4) Provide improved early weed competition values. These objectives are delivered in all BBHF projects and referred to as ‘NextGen Habitat Projects’.
In addition, each BBHF project is established with two different seed mixtures: a ‘Honey Bee’ seed mixture and a ‘Monarch Butterfly’ seed mixture. The Honey Bee seed mixture is comprised of a combination of legume species (like clover and alfalfa) that honey bees evolved and adapted to. Those legume species are preferred by honey bees and contribute greatly to their overall health and honey production. The Monarch Butterfly seed mixture is comprised of the many native wildflower species that are crucial for the life cycle and health of a broad range of native pollinator species. While most pollinator use and benefit from both of these seed mixtures, they establish very differently because of their design and components.
The value of BBHF habitat projects and the seed mixtures used are currently being evaluated in three research projects that are documenting the ability to deliver on the four key objectives. Early research results are documenting that BBHF seed mixtures have significantly increased pollinator value over other pollinator conservation programs that BBHF projects were compared with.
Just like our habitat solutions, our supporters are diverse! The BBHF delivers its habitat goals with a ‘Big Tent’ approach, bringing together a very broad range of interests and groups that are working to benefit pollinator species. That support includes diverse groups like commercial beekeepers, crop commodity organizations, agricultural industry, wildlife conservation groups, honey packers, conservationists, public entities, beekeeping supply companies and others. In many cases, the groups and interests working collectively through the BBHF might not collaborate or view themselves as partners in any other way. But, restoring pollinator habitat is something we can all agree to act upon.
Our Moment in Time
We are committed to inviting all stakeholders to the table to make a difference. The urgency to get high-quality pollinator habitat on the landscape has never been greater and we need everyone possible to support planting habitat back into the landscape. Join us!
For more information about the BBHF and its habitat programs, please contact the BBHF at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-407-5337. Make this the ‘Moment in Time’ that you get involved!