Delaware Department of

Delaware Managed Pollinator Protection Plan

Native bee house containing native bee nesting materials in a pollinator habitat surrounded by wildflowers.The Delaware Department of Agriculture unveiled its plan to protect and enhance populations of bees and other valuable pollinators in the state.

The Delaware Managed Pollinator Protection Plan includes best management practices that beekeepers, fruit and vegetable growers, and pesticide applicators can use to help pollinators thrive. It also includes strategies to increase the quantity and quality of pollinator forage on private and public lands.

Pollinated crops in Delaware include watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, cantaloupes, apples, blueberries, cranberries, squash and pumpkins. Delaware farmers bring in about 3,000 bee colonies each year to maximize crop pollination, adding to the work of the state’s 270 registered beekeepers, who have between 2,000 and 3,000 hives.

One tool to protect sensitive crops is the DriftWatch program, an online initiative that helps farmers and beekeepers alert pesticide applicators about special areas before they spray.

Delaware is also involved in a three-year project to engage specialty crop growers and beekeepers in developing and implementing a pollinator protection plan to reduce bees’ risk of pesticide exposure. We also plan to develop and model best management practices for improving the availability and quality of bee forage, which are key to improving honey and native bees’ nutrition. Both efforts combined will improve the health and vitality of bees, which will, in turn, enhance specialty crop pollination and allow for increased honey production.

Protecting Delaware Pollinators Story Map

Additional Resources

Farming and Pollinators

Pollinator Conservation in Agriculture
Farm Management for Native Bees

USDA-NRCS: How farmers can help pollinators

USDA-NRCS Delaware Conservation Practices:

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences:

SARE Farmer Grants

Information and Education on Bees and Pollinators

Xerces Pollinator Resource Center

Creating Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Habitats

Pollinator Partnership Learning Center

Books, Brochures, Posters

Your Health Depends on Pollinators

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC)

Butterfly Conservation

Xerces Butterfly Conservation

Pollinator Partnership Monarch Fueling Project: Are Monarchs at Risk?

The Yellow Zone Planting Guide – Including Delaware


BeeSmart Pollinator Gardener App

Delaware Native Plant and Bee Friendly Plant Lists

Xerces Society: Pollinator Plants of the Mid-Atlantic Region

Selecting Plants for Pollinators: A regional guide for farmers, land managers, and gardeners in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Oceanic Province

Selecting Plants for Pollinators: A regional guide for farmers, land managers, and gardeners in the Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Province

Gardening for Honey Bees Kathleen Prough, Indiana DNR

Plant Sources Specifically for Native Plants

American Beauties Online Native Plant Finder

Delaware Nature Society Native Plant Spring Sale

Native Plant List: Wholesale

Native Plant List: Wholesale/Retail


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