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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 $45 per person.

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

Canceled registrations can be refunded until September 9th, 2013.


Thursday September 19, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

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Wytheville Community College 
1000 E Main St
Grayson Hall Rm. 219
Wytheville, VA 24382

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This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of the Southern 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: the Ceres Foundation, Cinco, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Endangered Species Chocolate, The Metabolic Studio, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thanks to Virginia NRCS and SWCD, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension.

Photo Credit

Bumble bee carrying squash pollen by Nancy Lee Adamson, The Xerces Society.

Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Wytheville, Virginia
September 19, 2013
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

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 Planning 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 Planning Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information. If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming short courses, please email Be sure to include the following information: name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and the state(s) for which you would like to receive announcements.

**Continuing Education Credit Available**
Certified Crop Adviser (5 CEUs)
Society for American Foresters (5 CFE credits)
The Wildlife Society (5.5 contact hours)


  • 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 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 Basic Bee and Butterfly Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

Module 3 Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The value of natural habitat
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting nesting sites

Module 4 Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and sources
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for woody and herbaceous plants
  • Long-term habitat management

Module 5 Native Wildlife Habitat Establishment in Virginia

  • Example of Virginia habitat establishment
  • Virginia resources for habitat establishment (plant establishment guide, sources of seeds and plants, examples of seed mixes for different regions, seed mix calculator)

Module 6 Current Farm Bill Provisions

  • Virginia NRCS host Jeffray Jones will highlight USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation

Module 7 Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle

Module 9 Open Laboratory (outdoors, weather permitting)

  • Field observation of pollinators and plants, native plant selection, and land-use discussion
  • Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form & Guide


Nancy Lee Adamson, PhD – Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region
Nancy is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist - East Region for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service East National Technology Support Center (ENTSC). She supports pollinator conservation care of the ENTSC in Greensboro, North Carolina. She studied bees important for crop pollination (primarily native bees) and meadow restoration in the mid-Atlantic, ran the horticulture and Master Gardener programs for Frederick County Maryland Cooperative Extension, and has long been involved in inventorying, collecting seed, and propagating native plants for habitat restoration. As Education Coordinator and Nursery Manager at Adkins Arboretum on the eastern shore of Maryland, she started a local ecotype propagation program following work with Bloomin’ Natives (now Chesapeake Natives). A former Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, she also worked as an intern with Cultural Survival in PetÚn, Guatemala.

Bob Glennon, MFR, CF – Private Lands Biologist- Southeast Virginia
Bob is a private lands biologist in Smithfield, Virginia with Virginia Tech’s Conservation Management Institute. Bob assists landowners throughout southeastern Virginia manage their land for wildlife and pollinator habitat. He has 30 years of Federal service with USDA NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Bob spent most of the first half of his career in the NRCS plant materials program serving landowners and land managers from the states of Texas through Kentucky to Massachusetts and south to Florida.  He collected and evaluated native grasses, forbs, and shrubs for use in conservation practices and assisted the public in establishing and managing plants for a variety of uses. He was the state ecologist in Arkansas where he trained field employees and assisted landowners in wildlife habitat management, wetland restoration, and streambank stabilization.


Jeffray Jones, State Biologist, Virginia NRCS


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