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Intended Audience

The content of this course is tailored to the needs of NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees, as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and producers of bee-pollinated crops.

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Ashley Minnerath 
The Xerces Society 
(855) 232-6639 ext. 102


Registration is $45 per person and includes a copy of Attracting Native Pollinators. A late fee of $5 will be added to registrations made after February 2nd.

Lunch is not included. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until February 5th, 2013.


Wednesday February 12, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM PST

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Center for Urban Horticulture
NHS Hall
3501 NE 41st St.
Seattle, WA 98105

Driving Directions 


This Pollinator Conservation Short Course is made possible with the support of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional support for this training is provided by the following: Ceres, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Dudley Foundation, Turner FoundationWhole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thank you to Washington State University Urban Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety Education program for supporting and hosting the course.

Photo Credit

Bumblebee on a blackberry by Eric Mader, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Pollinator Conservation Short Course
Special emphasis on reducing pesticide risks to pollinators

Seattle, Washington
February 12, 2014
8:30 am - 3:30 pm PST

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 85 percent of the world's flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world's crop species are dependent on pollination, with an annual estimated value of $18 to $27 billion in the United States alone. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears. Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important to preserving both wider biodiversity, as well as agriculture.

In many places, however, this essential service is at risk. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released the report Status of Pollinators in North America, which called attention to the decline of pollinators. The report urged agencies and organizations to increase awareness and protect pollinator habitat. The Pollinator Conservation Short Course was developed to address this need.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society's Pollinator Conservation Toolkit which includes Xerces' latest book, Attracting Native Pollinators. Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies, as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.

The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information.


  • Ability to identify ways of increasing and enhancing pollinator diversity on the land
  • Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
  • Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
  • Knowledge of the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline
  • Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions through USDA programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
  • Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
  • Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as roadside management, tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
  • Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements
  • Ability to incorporate pollinators into land-management or policy decisions


Module 1 (8:30 am - 9:30 am) Introduction and Importance of Pollinator Conservation

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in crop production
  • Pollination biology
  • Colony Collapse Disorder and honey bee industry trends

Module 2 (9:30 am - 10:30 am) Basic Bee and Other Beneficial Insect Biology

  • Basic identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Break (10:30 am - 10:40 am)

Module 3 (10:40 am - 11:30 am) Bee-friendly Landscaping and Pesticide Risk Reduction

  • Risk Assessment
  • Mitigating pesticide damage 
  • Protecting nesting sites
  • Alternative options

Lunch (11:30 pm - 12:40 pm)

Module 4 (12:40 pm - 1:30 pm) Open laboratory: Field Observation, Native Plant Selection, and Assessing Pollinator Habitat

  • Value of natural areas
  • Landscape level habitat assessment
  • Site specific habitat assessment
  • Pollinator plants

Module 5 (1:40 pm - 2:30 pm) Habitat Restoration and Long Term Management

  • Plant selection and seed sources
  • Planting techniques
  • Habitat management considerations
  • Limiting disturbance

Break (2:30 pm - 2:40 pm)

Module 6 (2:40 pm - 3:30 pm) Programs and Practices for Pollinator Conservation

  • Using USDA cost-share programs and practices for pollinator conservation
  • Conservation case studies

Module 7 Additional Resources


Eric Lee-Mder – Assistant Pollinator Program Director
Eric works to raise awareness of native pollinator conservation techniques among growers and government agencies. His previous work includes commercial beekeeping and crop consulting for the native seed industry where he provided weekly insect and disease scouting on hundreds of plant species grown for prairie restoration efforts. He is an Assistant Extension Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Entomology, and has authored several books and government management plans for native pollinators. He is the lead author of Xerces' latest book Attracting Native Pollinators. Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies. He has also co-authored Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists.


The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The Society's Pollinator Conservation Program was launched in 1996, and works with leading native pollinator ecologists to translate the latest research findings into on-the-ground conservation. More information about the Xerces Society is available at