The PAm Wildflower Mix pictured here is designed to increase the density, diversity and duration of blooming plants available for foraging bees. Different flowers bloom at different times of the year providing extended nutritional benefits for pollinators. Seeds for Bees cover crop and wildflower seed mixes can help farmers and growers become Bee Friendly Certified!
Bee Friendly Farming (BFF) is a farm certification program dedicated to providing farmers science-based guidelines to provide a healthy habitat for managed and native pollinators on their operations. Since 2013, the program has certified over 800 farms across North America through an online self-certification. Bee Friendly Farming is an initiative of Pollinator Partnership, the world’s largest non-profit dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. For more information about Pollinator Partnership and Bee Friendly Farming, visit pollinator.org/bff or Bee Friendly Farming on Facebook.
Bee Friendly Farming works closely with our partners Project Apis m. and its Seeds for Bees program to help farmers make good seed choices and incorporate cover crops into their management practices for free or at a reduced cost. Just like the synergy and mutual benefits of a cover crop to farm and pollinator, our partnership with Seeds for Bees mean that we can introduce our BFF members to a program offering superior and proven seed mixes. And Seeds for Bees can help promote Bee Friendly Farming certification.
What can BFF mean to a farmer who installs a cover crop? A cover crop gets you across the starting point of certification – as it fulfills one of the seven steps for certification. Those simple steps may seem intimidating but they form a system to establish good sustainable practices. Here is what is required:
For pollinators, a well-designed pollinator cover crop means temporary forage and sometimes a good place to call home. Ground nesting bees appreciate bare ground to nest in. Because of reduced habitat everywhere, nothing is more important than good nutrition for pollinators, and cover crops can play a significant role. This also means that Integrated Pest Management needs to be employed, along with considerations for bloom and mowing schedules with pollinator cover crop.
Here are three key points to remember about Bee friendly Farming:
By Laurie Davies Adams,
President and CEO, Pollinator Partnership and Bee Friendly Farming