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Critical pollinator and wildlife habitat is disappearing in the U.S. – but we can reverse the trend! With the help of generous corporate sponsors and individual donors, The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund is establishing high quality pollinator habitat to ensure honey bee and monarch butterfly populations thrive. We’re working with landowners, conservationists, scientists and beekeepers to build healthy and sustainable pollinator habitat with maximum benefits. Our solution precisely targets pollinators’ needs by engineering projects that provide appropriate bloom diversity, density and duration to optimize forage potential.
Biologists consult with landowners to identify potential underutilized scraps of land to be converted to habitat, then design a precision habitat mix to maximize pollinator support on that individual acreage. Landowners receive free seed mixtures, annual rental and planting incentive payments and a three- to six-year contract.
In our first year, we piloted the program successfully in North Dakota and South Dakota – we even have a waiting list! In 2017 the program expands into Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Average project size is 15 acres for six years, and we have planted more than 6.58 million milkweed seeds to date.
Problem: Up to 40% of America's honey bees die each winter.
Solution: Provide good nutrition to ensure a bounty of honey bees and mitigate their stress, developing stronger, healthier populations for the next year's pollination cycle.
Problem: The eastern population of the monarch butterfly has declined by 90% in just 1 decade.
Solution: Provide milkweeds for monarch butterflies to reproduce. If we have no milkweeds, we have no monarchs!
Problem: Critical wildlife habitat is disappearing.
Solution: Rebuild vital pollinator habitat to provide abundant, diverse and pesticide-free floral resources.
Problem: 1/3 of our food supply requires pollinators to make it to the table - and pollinators are in decline.
Solution: Nutrition is the most basic and fundamental requirement for healthy pollinators - provide it in the form of precision habitats.
Recently, the Honey Bill Health Coalition – along with input from members of the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF) – provided several principles to policymakers working on the next Farm Bill. The critical role the Farm Bill could play by impacting agricultural policy that supports honey bees and the country’s overall agriculture was highlighted in a letter. Read More.
"The future security of America's food supply depends on healthy honey bees."
Did you know? 80% of flowering plants require pollination by honey bees and other insects. Do you like almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, kiwi fruit, macadamia nuts, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, onions, legume seeds, pumpkins, squash, and sunflowers? You can’t have them without bees! In fact, 1 in 3 bites of food depend on a pollinator to make it to your plate!
The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund has already proven its ability to succeed through its pilot phase in North and South Dakota - we even have a waiting list! We are making a measurable difference. With an average contract of six years and 15 acres for each participant, 124 NextGen Habitat Projects have been established to date. These resulted in nearly 7 million milkweed seeds planted and nearly 1,800 high-quality, high-diverse projects begun!