The San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership announced Friday that it has created three new categories for closer engagement with participants in its Bee Friendly Farming program.

The nonprofit organization will now award participants with either the Bee Friendly Farming Certified, Bee Friendly Farming Partner or Bee Friendly Farming Garden designations.

“After conversations with long-standing participants, environmental groups, grower associations and sponsors, we saw a clear need to further refine the BFF experience and to add a level of scrutiny and permanence to the certification aspects of Bee Friendly Farming,” Laurie Davies Adams, President of Pollinator Partnership, said in a release.

Commercial farms and ranches will receive the Bee Friendly Farming Certified label if they comply with the criteria every three years.

Individuals, companies and apiarists that do not farm or own land will receive the Bee Friendly Farming Partner label. The Bee Friendly Farming Garden label will be applied to smaller landscapes, community gardens and homeowners who adhere to the criteria of Bee Friendly Farming actions.

The criteria for the Bee Friendly Farming Program requires producers to offer forage that provides good nutrition for bees on at least 3% of land, provide bloom of different flowering plants throughout the growing season, offer clean water for bees, provide permanent habitat for nesting, practice Integrated Pest Management, pay the $45 certification fee and complete the compliance form every three years.

The three categories all require different criteria to be followed and give different benefits to recipients. Some previous recipients will fall into a different category, but the Pollinator Partnership says they will be contacted about the changes.

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