Dr. Shalene Jha and Laurel Treviño (Outreach Program Coordinator) have developed landowners materials in collaboration with TPWD. Landowners or naturalists can use an array of information from their website that provides links to other websites with management guidelines for native pollinators.

 American bumblebee top folded wings
 American bumblebee

In addition to the natural benefits that pollinators offer, the Texas Comptroller provides tax incentives to landowners who manage habitat for pollinator populations. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has pollinator management guidelines to facilitate the tax appraisal process.

AGRICULTURAL BENEFITS

Approximately one of every three food morsels can be traced to the work of pollinators. Native bees are effective pollinators of wild and cultivated plants. Some important Texas crops that benefit from bee pollination include watermelons, melons, cucumbers, peppers, peaches, pears, blueberries, and cotton.

By the numbers:

More than 60% of global crop species rely to some extent on animal pollination to set quality fruit. Bees contribute an economic benefit of approximately $15 billion a year to agriculture with at least $3 billion attributed to native bees alone. Studies from UT Austin show that animal-mediated cross-pollination boosts cotton yields in Texas by 17%.

TAX INCENTIVES

The Nongame and Rare Species Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department outlines native pollinator management guidelines that landowners can use to develope a wildlife management plan for tax valuation through their county appraisal district office. To qualify, a landowner must implement a minimum of three pollinator habitat management practices such as pollinator surveys.

 Hairy legged top eyes
 Hairy-legged bee

The Jha Lab has information on pollinator habitat and survey guidelines and can also help interpret data to inform landowners of best management practices, which can be used to re-apply for tax-appraisal yearly. To learn more, please visit this site.

 

Resources:

The Jha Lab (https://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/jha/)

Management Recommendations for Native Insect Pollinators in Texas ©2016 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, pdf