There are many things that farmers and ranchers can do to help protect pollinators. If you grow insect-pollinated crops, like canola, sunflower, flax, tomatoes or berries, pollinator preservation will help improve your crop yields as well.
- Identify existing pollinator habitats (ground nests on bare soil, dead trees and snags) and protect them.
- Leave some land uncultivated so that bumblebees and pollinating flies have land to nest in and wild plants to provide food.
- Avoid overgrazing pastures, as this reduces the quantity of forage available to pollinators.
- Windbreaks of flowering shrubs and trees, such as Saskatoons, raspberries and chokecherries, provide pollinator forage and habitat, and can provide you with a nutritious berry crop.
- Consider providing artificial nesting sites on your land to encourage bees to nest.
- Use pesticides minimally, as a last resort, or not at all if possible. Good agronomic practices, such as crop rotation, growing a diversity of crops, and Integrated Pest Management, will reduce your need for pesticides.
- If you need to apply pesticides, avoid spraying on windy days, spray early in the morning or in the evening, and leave a buffer between the crop and any identified pollinator habitat.