bumble bee on helenium autumnale  


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Suffolk Co. SWCD Logo   

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, master gardeners, and producers of bee-pollinated crops.

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


Registration $25 per person. Course registration includes a copy of Attracting Native Pollinators, box lunch, and refreshments.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until April 30, 2014.


Friday May 9, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT

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Bedell Cellars 
36225 Main Road
Cutchogue, NY 11935


This Pollinator Conservation Short Course is made possible with the support of the Northeast 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 Foundation, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Endangered Species Chocolate, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Turner Foundation, Whole Foods Market and its vendors, and Xerces Society members.

Special thank you to Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Soil and Water Conservation Committee for supporting this course.

Photo Credit

Bumble bee on Helenium autumnale by Kelly Gill, The Xerces Society

Pollinator Conservation Short Course for Long Island Agricultural Community

Bedell Cellars
Cutchogue, New York

May 9, 2014
9:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT

Learn how to attract native pollinators to your fields, farm, and orchards!

Pollinators, which include bees, butterflies, and other insects 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. If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming short courses, please email shortcourses@xerces.org. 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.

Pending Continuing Education Credits:
ISA - International Society of Architects
LA CES Landscape Architects Continuing Education Credits
NYS DEC Pesticide credits
Certified Crop Advisor
Certified Nursery and Landscape Program


  • 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 Assessing Pollinator Habitat

  • Learning to use the bee habitat assessment guide to help guide pollinator conservation planning
  • Site assessment for pesticide exposure

Field Tour

  • Field observation of pollinators and plants at Bedell Cellars Meadow Restoration.  Observe polinator diversity; identify bees, nesting sites, and plants.  
  • Using the Pollinator Habitat Assessment Form and Guide

Module 5 Habitat Restoration l

  • Best plants for bees in the Mid-Atlantic region and Long Island
  • Site preparation and planting techniques for native wildflowers
  • Long-term habitat management
  • Siting in relation to pesticide exposure

CCE Research and Program Updates

  • CCE Bee heath workshop and beekeeping classes
  • Awareness of IPM and pest management tactics sensitive to pollinators 
  • Alternative pest management practices

Module 6 Accessing Technical and Financial Support 

  • USDA programs and practices for pollinator conservation
  • Case studies 
  • USDA-NRCS, Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District and CCE Integrated Pest Management Opportunities

Module 7 Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Kelly Gill – Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region

Kelly is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly recently completed her Master’s Degree in Entomology at Iowa State University. There, she conducted small plot and farm scale research, collaborating with organic and conventional farmers, on the development of best practices for conserving beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes.


Polly Weigand – Soil District Technician, Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District

Polly Weigand holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from St. Lawrence University and is just completing her Master’s Degree in Urban Ecology with a focus on grassland management from Hofstra University. As a Soil District Technician for Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, Polly provides a diverse array of technical assistance including pest and nutrient management, prescribed grazing, irrigation design, sediment and erosion control and habitat restoration for landowners and agencies. Polly also directs the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, a local non-profit organization that strives to enhance the commercial diversity and availability of ecotypic “genetically” native plant materials for landscaping and restorations. This effort involves conducting seed collections and commercial seed and wholesale production of Long Island native plants for the nursery industry, as well as conducting educational events and trainings on native plants.

Dan Gilrein –  Extension Entomologist , Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Dan Gilrein is Extension Entomologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. He has a Master's degree in Pest Management from Cornell and BS in Forest Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He works with Long Island's agriculture and commercial horticulture industries on insect-related issues, including an entomology diagnostic lab, entomology research and educational programs.

Liz Camps - District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service 

Liz Camps, NRCS District Conservationist, has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She covers Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. At the beginning of her career, she worked with the USDA Forest Service in the research division. She has been working for NRCS for the past 9 years in which she has concentrated all her energy in helping farmers and putting conservation on the ground. She also manages different cost-share programs such as Environmental Incentive Programs (EQIP), Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).


Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District


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 www.xerces.org.