Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators
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How to create a pollinator-friendly landscape
Focus on a "healthy" environment, not a perfect landscape.
- Choose plants that provide food and habitat for pollinators.
- Plant a bee lawn. Replace lawn areas that are difficult to mow with shrubs and flowers.
- Adopt best practices in landscape maintenance to improve plant health and eliminate the need for pesticides.
How pollinator-friendly is your yard and garden right now?
It only takes 5 minutes to complete this survey to find out how your backyard measures up on plants, habitat and gardening practices that help bees and other beneficial insects.
Pollinators help plants that bring us food and other resources. By carrying pollen from one plant to another, pollinators fertilize plants and allow them to make fruit or seeds. Pollinator health is critical to our food system and the diversity of life across the world.
Bees are one of the most well-known pollinators, but there are a variety of other pollinators including ants, flies, beetles, birds and more!
Each of us can contribute to pollinator friendly environments.
- Plant flowers with pollen and nectar.
- Create habitat and nesting sites for pollinators.
- Eliminate the use of pesticides that are dangerous to pollinators.
Resources to help pollinators
- Nests for pollinators
- Pollinators and their habitat - Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Plants for Minnesota bees
- Flowering bee lawns
- Selecting plants and seed mixes
- Benefits of native grasses
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Sources for plants and seed
- Pollinators of Native Plants and Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide - Heather Holm
- Wild bees and building wild bee houses
- Creating a butterfly garden
Bumble bee nest appearance of newborn
Notice the differences between the newborn bee and the adult bee. (1:15 min.)
Bee lawns with Ian Lane
How to incorporate flowering plants into lawns in order to give pollinators more forage in the landscape. (6:54 min.)
Andrena bee drinks nectar on mustard
Watch an Andrena bee feed on nectar from a mustard plant. (0:44 min.)
Watch a Colletes bee excavate a nest. (5:03 min.)
Watch a Colletes bee leave the nest to forage and return with pollen. (1:41 min.)
Reviewed in 2018