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University of Minnesota Extension

UMN Twin Cities Bee Campus

Pale miner bee on purple prairie clover.
Pale miner bee on purple prairie clover

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is home to research, outreach, arts and education programs that promote pollinator conservation and have contributed greatly to public education and awareness of pollinators in Minnesota and globally. 

UMN Twin Cities is now an affiliate of Bee Campus USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society that raises awareness of the importance of pollinators and the actions each of us can take to help pollinators.

As an official Bee Campus, Extension and several University colleges have pledged to highlight and expand our actions to promote pollinator conservation.

You can visit a wide variety of pollinator habitats on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campuses in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. These habitats are maintained using pollinator-friendly integrated pest management (IPM).

  • Visit this story map for a self-guided tour of pollinator habitats on the Twin Cities Campus.
  • This bee habitat map shows where and what is planted on campus.

Here are a few examples of pollinator habitats across the UMN Twin Cities campuses. Some of these locations include public art that provides nesting habitat for cavity-nesting bees.

Four people walking in the University of Minnesota Bee Lab gardens.
Gardens outside the UMN Bee Research Facility at 1624 Gortner Ave, St. Paul.
Clover blooming in bee lawn at the Weisman Art Museum.
Bee lawn under the 'Pollinator Skyrise' sculpture at the Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Parkway, Minneapolis.
'Humming House' stone sculpture by Craig David outside of the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.
'Humming House' is a sculpture providing bee nesting sites created by Craig David.
'Pollinator Skyrise' sculpture in the bee lawn at the Weisman Art Museum.
'Pollinator Skyrise' is a collaborative sculpture and bee nesting site created by artists Christine Baeumler, Amanda Lovelee and Julie Benda, and scientist Colleen Satyshur.

Food and homes for bees

Pollinator habitat includes both food for the bees (nectar and pollen from flowers) and places for the bees to live (undisturbed ground, standing stems, deadwood).

To support diverse bees, it is important to provide a diverse range of flowers. 

  • Include flowers blooming at different times from early spring through late fall.
  • Use native, locally sourced flowers to provide the greatest ecological benefits.
  • Keep pollinator habitat free of pesticides.

Some of our favorite bee plants:

A flower fly on an aster flower.
New England aster with flower fly
A tri-colored bumble bee on a bee balm flower.
Bumble bee on bee balm
A rusty-patched bumble bee on a Joe Pye weed flower.
Rusty-patched bumble bee on Joe Pye weed
A leafcutter bee on a hyssop flower.
Leafcutter bee on summer anise hyssop
A miner bee on a willow flower
Willow flower with miner bee

Paintings on wood of wild bees by Taylor Robers

Find out more

For more information on creating pollinator habitat and finding sources for native plants, visit: 

Learn more about bees through classes and events.

About Bee Campus USA

The Bee Campus USA - University of Minnesota Twin Cities Committee members include faculty, student, and staff from colleges across the UMN Twin Cities campus. You can view the list of committee members and our meeting schedule.

If you are interested in volunteering to help Bee Campus USA - University of Minnesota Twin Cities, sign up!

Reviewed in 2023

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