Thanks to a shift to neonics over the last quarter century, U.S. croplands are now 50 times more toxic to honeybees, even with less pesticides applied.
The Kerr Center is conserving habitat for native pollinators (native bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds, etc.) and is establishing pollinator-friendly landscapes using native plants.
We also sponsor educational events to teach others how to create pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes.
Check out our native plant and pollinator library for information on growing native plants and identifying native pollinators!
Why? With the ongoing decline in numbers of honeybee colonies, we need native pollinators to provide pollination of food crops. (See Native Pollinator FAQs.)
But native pollinators also face threats from many sources, including insecticides, intensive farming/ranching practices, and urban development.
Milkweeds and other native plants are not only essential for monarchs, they provide food and nesting for native bees and other insects which provide billions of dollars worth of “pollination services” each year.
While native pollinator habitat has been studied and promoted in different regions of the United States, limited work has been done in the eastern Oklahoma region. We are helping to fill that gap!
Learn About: Pollinators and Native Plants
Habitat for Pollinators & a Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA
1) Implement plantings at the Kerr Center Ranch to use in outdoor classrooms for students, teachers and NRCS employees to learn proper planting, plant identification, and management techniques for native pollinator habitat.
Plantings focus on plants native to Eastern Oklahoma and those associated with native pollinators.
2) Install a stabilized stream crossing point within the riparian area native pollinator habitat, to demonstrate the establishment of native pollinator habitat within a working ranch program.
”I applied for the native pollinator grant from the USDA’s NRCS out of concern for the problems honeybees were experiencing. Also, the drastic decline in bumblebee populations is a cause for concern,” says David Redhage, Director of Ranch Operations.
The 4,000 acres of the Kerr Ranch offer a wide diversity of habitats for native plants and the pollinators attracted to them.
Since 2011, we have established native plants in pastures, in horticulture plots, and in landscape beds . We have photo-documented these plants and the pollinators that visit them.
This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-7335-1-21.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.