Growers should include in their agriculture landscape a pesticide-free area of diverse plants to provide pollen and nectar for pollinators throughout the local growing season. “Ideally, plan a separate plot for each plant species,” says Dr. Park. The plot can be either a square or a circular one, but it should have a diameter of no less than three feet.

Locate these plots within 500 feet of the designated farm field as Dr. Park reminds growers that native bees do not fly long distances. Plots should contain mixed flowering plants so they will flower throughout the year.

Also, when tilling, growers should leave an area near plants/crops needing pollination, untilled. Chances are that native bees or their progeny in various stages of development are hibernating in the soil.

For help in setting up plots to protect native bees and foster pollination, contact Dr. Park at (870) 575-7245 (office) or or call your county Extension agent or associate.