Insectaries & Cover Crops

Insectaries & Cover Crops

It is very important in sustainable agriculture to keep and create natural refuges and buffers that can act as insectaries for not only a wide range of bees, butterflies, parasitic wasps and predatory insects but also for a whole host of other native mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

If within the Southern Interior of B.C. protect and encourage growth of native plants such as sagebrush, rabbitbrush, various buckwheats, wild rose, snowberry, sumac and goldenrod.

If within the Lower Mainland of BC, here are some great resources from Pollinator Partnership and the Fraser Valley Conservancy.

Richardson Seed, a division of TerraLink Horticulture, sells a wide variety of cover crops including wildflower seed, with technical staff available to recommend a mix or custom blend to best suit your needs. They have experience making recommendations on all soil types and within all microclimates from Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, the Interior and other areas of BC.

The list below includes common flowering cover crops that are often seeded alone or as part of a blend. The variety of pollinators and beneficial insects/mites attracted to these plants varies, but may include: honeybees; mason bees; bumblebees; butterflies; parasitic wasps; predatory mites and thrips; ladybugs; big-eyed, soldier and pirate bugs; tachinid, syrphid and hover flies.


  • Alyssum
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Blanket flowers (Gaillardia aristata)
  • Blue flax
  • Buckwheat (Erigonum spp)
  • Marigold
  • Mustards (White or sweet)
  • Poppies (California or Flanders red)
  • Purple Tansy (Lacy phacelia)
  • Shasta daisy
  • Showy fleabane
  • Showy milkweed
  • Sunflowers
  • Tillage radish
  • Turnips (such as Purple top)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millifolium)



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