Certification Criteria

What are the Criteria for Certification?

  1. Offer forage providing good nutrition for bees on at least 3%* of land. Forage can be temporary, including cover crops.1–14
  2. Provide bloom of different flowering plants throughout the growing season, especially in early spring and late autumn. There is no minimum land coverage for seasonal bloom.15–28
  3. Offer clean water for bees if not inhibited by government mandated water restrictions.29–31
  4. Provide permanent habitat for nesting through features such as hedgerows, natural brush, buffer strips, or bare ground.32–39
  5. Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM); reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals. 40–44
  6. Pay the annual certification fee.
  7. Complete the compliance form once every 3 years (audited by the BFF Australia Task Force).
* Have factors that prevent you from reaching 3%? Let us know and we may be able to work with you to help you meet the certification.
Email info@beefriendlyfarming.org.au

To learn more about BFF Certification, download the Australian Handbook.​

BFF Criteria References

3% land

  1. Holland J, Orson J & Powell W, Storkey J & Chamberlain D. (2007). Managing uncropped land in order to enhance biodiversity benefits of the arable farmed landscape. Aspects of Applied Biology 81
  2. Holland, John & ORSON, J & POWELL, W & Storkey, Jonathan & Chamberlain, Dan. (2006). Managing uncropped land in order to enhance biodiversity benefits of the arable farmed landscape.
  3. Tscharntke T, Steffan-Dewenter I, Kruess A, and Thies C. (2002). Contribution of small habitat fragments to conservation of insect communities of grassland-cropland landscapes.  Ecological Applications 12:354–363
  4. Kleijn D, Rundlöf M, Scheper J, Smith HG, and Tscharntke T. (2011). Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?  Trends in Ecology & Evolution 26:474–481
  5. Scheper J, Holzschuh A, Kuussaari M, Potts SG, Rundlöf M, Smith HG, et al. (2013).  Environmental factors driving the effectiveness of European agri-environmental measures in mitigating pollinator loss – a meta-analysis, ed. by Gomez J.  Ecology Letters 16:912–920
  6. Munro NT., Lindenmayer DB. and Fischer J. (2007).  Faunal response to revegetation in agricultural areas of Australia: a review. Ecological Management & Restoration 8: 199-207
  7. Sexton AN, Emery, SM. (2020). Grassland restorations improve pollinator communities: a meta-analysis. Journal of Insect Conservation 24: 719–726
  8. Klein AM, Vaissière BE, Cane JH, Steffan-Dewenter I, Cunningham SA, Kremen C & Tscharntke T. (2007). Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops.  Biological Sciences 274(1608): 303–313
  9. Hogendoorn K. (2019). Protecting crops by preserving their pollinators.  The University of Adelaide.  https://www.adelaide.edu.au/research/news/list/2019/09/12/protecting-crops-by-preserving-their-pollinators (accessed 1 May 2021)
  10. Cunningham S, FitzGibbon F, & Heard T. (2002). The future of pollinators for Australian agriculture. Crop and Pasture Science. 53: 893-900
  11. Aizen MA, Garibaldi LA, Cunningham SA, & Klein AM. (2009). How much does agriculture depend on pollinators?  Lessons from long-term trends in crop production. Annals of Botany103(9): 1579–1588
  12. Garibaldi L, Steffan-Dewenter I, Winfree R, et al. (2013). Wild Pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance. Science.  339(6127): 1608-1611
  13. Kennedy C, Lonsdorf E, Neel M, et al (2013). A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters 16(5): 584-599.
  14. Shapira T, Henkin Z, Dag A, and Mandelik Y. (2020).  Rangeland sharing by cattle and bees: moderate grazing does not impair bee communities and resource availability. Ecological Applications30(3): 2066

Seasonal flowers

  1. Kovács-Hostyánszki A, Espíndola A, Vanbergen AJ, Settele J, Kremen C, and Dicks LV. (2017).  Ecological intensification to mitigate impacts of conventional intensive land use on pollinators and pollination, ed. by Irwin R.  Ecology Letters 20:673–689
  2. Dicks LV, Viana B, Bommarco R, Brosi B, Arizmendi M del C, Cunningham SA, et al., (2016). Ten policies for pollinators.  Science 354:975–976
  3. Garibaldi LA, Carvalheiro LG, Leonhardt SD, Aizen MA, Blaauw BR, Isaacs R, et al. (2014). From research to action: enhancing crop yield through wild pollinators.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:439–447
  4. Garibaldi LA, Steffan‐Dewenter I, Kremen C, Morales JM, Bommarco R, Cunningham SA, et al. (2011). Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits, Ecology Letters 14:1062–1072
  5. Kleijn D, Winfree R, Bartomeus I, Carvalheiro LG, Henry M, Isaacs R, et al. (2015). Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation.  Nature Communications 6:7414
  6. Lichtenberg EM, Kennedy CM, Kremen C, Batáry P, Berendse F, Bommarco R, et al. (2017). A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes.  Global Change Biology 23:4946–4957
  7. Morandin LA and Kremen C. (2013).  Hedgerow restoration promotes pollinator populations and exports native bees to adjacent fields.  Ecological Applications 23:829–839
  8. Morandin LA, Long RF, and Kremen C. (2016).  Pest control and pollination cost–benefit analysis of hedgerow restoration in a simplified agricultural landscape.  Journal of Economic Entomology. 109:1020–1027
  9. Ricketts TH, Regetz J, Steffan‐Dewenter I, Cunningham SA, Kremen C, Bogdanski A, et al. (2008).  Landscape effects on crop pollination services: are there general patterns?  Ecology Letters 11:499–515
  10. Havens K and Vitt P. (2016). The importance of phenological diversity in seed mixes for pollinator restoration.  Natural Areas Journal 36:531
  11. Jens, M., Olesen, JM., Bascompte, J., Eberling, H., & Jordano, P. (2008).  Temporal dynamics in a pollination network.   Ecology 89(6): 1573–1582
  12. Hall, M, Nimmo, D, Cunningham, S et al. (2019). The response of wild bees to tree cover and rural land use is mediated by species’ traits. Biological Conservation 231:1-12
  13. Nicholls CI and Altieri MA. (2013). Plant biodiversity enhances bees and other insect pollinators in agroecosystems.  A review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development 33: 257–274
  14. Lawrence R, Whalley RDB, Reid N, & Rader R. (2019). Short-duration rotational grazing leads to improvements in landscape functionality and increased perennial herbaceous plant cover. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 281: 134-44

Water for bees

  1. Nicolson SW. (2009).  Water homeostasis in bees, with the emphasis on sociality.  Journal of Experimental Biology. 212: 429–434
  2. Feeding Honey Bees, https://pollinators.msu.edu/re…[accessed 9 November 2020].
  3. Samson-Robert O, Labrie G, Chagnon M, Fournier V. (2014).  Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees. PLOS ONE 9(12): e108443.

Permanent habitat

  1. Menz MHM, Phillips RD, Winfree R, Kremen C, Aizen MA, Johnson SD, et al. (2011).  Reconnecting plants and pollinators: challenges in the restoration of pollination mutualisms.  Trends in Plant Science 16(4): 12
  2. Ferreira PA, Boscolo D, and Viana BF. (2013). What do we know about the effects of landscape changes on plant–pollinator interaction networks?  Ecological Indicators 31:35–40
  3. Lentini P, Martin T, Gibbons P, et al. (2012). Supporting wild pollinators in a temperate agricultural landscape: maintaining mosaics of natural features and production. Biological Conservation. 149(1): 84-92
  4. Blanche K, Ludwig J & Cunningham S. (2006). Proximity to rainforest enhances pollination and fruit set in orchards. Journal of Applied Ecology. 43 (6): 1182-1187
  5. Willcox BK, Howlett BG, Robson AJ. et al.(2019).  Evaluating the taxa that provide shared pollination services across multiple crops and regions. Scientific Reports 9: 13538
  6. Cunningham S, Attwood S, Bawa K, et al. (2013). To close the yield-gap while saving biodiversity will require multiple locally relevant strategies.  Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 173(1): 20-27
  7. Rader R, Bartomeus I, Garibaldi L, et al. (2016).  Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(1): 146-151
  8. Cunningham S, Duncan D & Driscoll D. (2012). Land use intensification impacts on biodiversity in the mallee/wheat landscape of Central NSW. In: David Lindenmayer, Saul Cunningham and Andrew Young (eds.).  Land Use Intensification: Effects on Agriculture, Biodiversity and Ecological Processes.  CSIRO Publishing, Australia, pp. 93-103


  1. Larson JL, Dale A, Held D, McGraw B, Richmond DS, Wickings K, et al. (2017).  Optimizing pest management practices to conserve pollinators in turf landscapes: current practices and future research needs.  Journal of Integrated Pest Management 8
  2. van der Sluijs, JP, Vaage, NS. (2016). Pollinators and global food security:  the need for holistic global stewardship. Food Ethics 1:  75–91
  3. Baldock, KCR (2020). Opportunities and threats for pollinator conservation in global towns and cities.  Current Opinion in Insect Science38: 63-71
  4. Garibaldi L, Gemmill-Herren B, D’Annolfo R, et al. (2017). Farming approaches for greater biodiversity, livelihoods, and food security.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 32(1): 68-80
  5. Macfadyen S, Cunningham S, Costamagna A, et al. (2012). Managing ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes: are the solutions the same?  Journal of Applied Ecology 49(3): 690-694