Critical pollinator habitat is disappearing in the United States, and pollinator populations are following. The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF) is playing an integral role in incentivizing quality habitat for monarchs, honeybees, and other pollinators. Their innovative techniques to engage landowners in establishing and maintaining pollinator habitat make BBHF a great fit for the MJV.
“The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund is a diverse and successful partnership that really drives on-the-ground habitat work in an important region for monarchs. Leveraging the power of two pollinator icons, the monarch and the honeybee, BBHF’s structure offers unique opportunities to support habitat while expanding partnerships for monarch conservation.” Wendy Caldwell, MJV Coordinator
The BBHF collaborates with landowners, conservationists, scientists, and beekeepers to efficiently implement quality pollinator habitat with projects that work with agriculture. Using advanced technology, research, and monitoring, they are able to build sustainable habitat with appropriate bloom diversity, density and duration, maximizing the benefits of these efforts for both pollinators and landowners.
In their first three years, the BBHF has expanded their NextGen Habitat Project program to include six Midwestern states, and have planted more than 6.5 million milkweed seeds on 2,560 acres of projects! This winter, the BBHF will be announcing a new habitat program that will establish pollinator habitat with a focus on monarch butterflies in 11 states.
“We have a moment in time right now to make a difference for monarchs and all pollinators” stated Pete Berthelsen, BBHF Partnership Coordinator. “The increased understanding the public has about monarch populations makes this the best time in our history to galvanize that public interest into habitat efforts that benefit monarchs, pollinators, water quality, soil health, food sustainability and a long list of other important factors”.
The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund has great resources and information about current projects on their website.
The Monarch Joint Venture is a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration. The content in this article does not necessarily reflect the positions of all Monarch Joint Venture partners.
“The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund is the bees’ buzz! The effort is integrating the very best performing habitat solutions where they are most needed, by bringing landowners and beekeepers together in a program where everyone benefits. It’s our goal to make every available acre the best it can be. It’s truly amazing just how much difference an acre can make when the habitat is engineered for maximum productivity!”
“This project is a unique conservation effort, targeting acres in regions where conversion to soy and corn is happening very fast. By identifying places where habitat makes the most sense, the bottom line improves for the grower, the beekeeper, the monarch, upland songbirds and game birds, honey bees and native pollinators – it’s a program that can’t lose!”
"The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund is unique in that it has found the way to plant cost-effective pollinator habitat that establishes quickly and provides great pollinator benefits. It's the trifecta of getting great pollinator benefits onto the landscape. If we try to solve the critical problems for pollinators using the same tools and methods we have used for the last decade, we won’t be successful. The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund brings new strategies, methods and partners together to save monarch butterflies, honey bees and other pollinators, not to mention the nation’s food supply and beautiful landscapes."