Beetle Bank Reference

Farming with Native Beneficial Insects – The Xerces Society Guide, is source of the below quotes and the guide used to complete the Menoken Farm beetle bank.

Beetle Bank Description

“Beetle banks are a habitat enhancement intended to provide shelter for a specific group of beneficial insects: predatory ground beetles.  Beetle banks consist of long, elevated earthen berms planted with perennial bunch grasses; occasionally the bunch grasses are interplanted with native wildflowers.  These banks provide undisturbed winter cover for ground beetles adjacent to cultivated fields, and are intended to promote rapid movement by beetles back into crop fields when warm weather returns the following year.”

Beetle Bank Construction

“You can construct a beetle bank by plowing two reverse furrows side by side to create an embankment roughly 2-6 feet wide and at least 1 foot high. Seed the bank with native bunch grasses or plant it with grass plugs.”

The Menoken Farm beetle bank is 300’ long, but any length can be used.

The Why

“Because predaceous ground beetles ae known to consume weed seeds, as well as a diverse variety of crops pests including aphids, cabbage root maggot, Colorado potato beetle larvae, codling moth larvae, snails, slugs, and various fly maggots, researchers and farmers worldwide are experimenting with approaches that increase beetle populations on farms. The most effective method of conservating and enhancing on-farm predaceous ground beetle populations is to provide sheltered areas on the farm for the beetles to colonize.”

Beetle Bank Impact Area

“roughly one beetle bank for every 50 acres”

Beetle Bank Plant Species – Original Planting

The below list is native to central North Dakota.

  1. Purple prairieclover (Dalea purpurea)
  2. Narrowleaf coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
  3. Smooth blue aster (Aster laevis)
  4. Meadow blazing star (Liatris ligulistylis)
  5. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

6 . Bluestem, Big (Andropogon gerardii)

  1. Grama, Sideoats (Bouteloua curtipendula)
  2. Switchgrass (Panicum virginicum)
  3. Bluestem, Little (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  4. Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Beetle Bank Plant Species – Future Planting

  1. Green Needle Grass (Nassella Viridula)
  2. Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)
  3. Milkweed (various species)

Beetle Bank Seeding

The Menoken Farm used plant plugs.  Planting was completed the end of June, 2022. Weed fabric was used to hold weeds back and allow native plant establishment.

Menoken Farm Beetle Bank Photo’s

Bumble Bee – Menoken Farm. Photo by Seth Boechler

Menoken Farm Beetle Bank 2023: Photo by Jay Fuhrer

Coming soon