Planting for Pollinators

Planting for pollinators… the concept was just a blip on the radar a few years ago. Now it’s a nationwide trend, only growing in popularity. When we think about pollinator conservation, we often look at restoring large swaths of habitat by adding native prairie plants—the vibrant collections of flowers and native grasses insects rely on…

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Celebrating National Pollinator Week

celebrating pollinator week

Planting for pollinator habitat as our climate changes is so important—we have the opportunity to adapt our cultivated environments to make room for more native pollinators. Researchers are learning more every day about how these essential creatures survive and thrive. During this National Pollinator Week, we’re shining a bright spotlight on this important work and…

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7 Plants to Attract Bumble Bees to the Garden

bumblebee on coneflower

Honey bees get a lot of attention and credit as hardworking pollinators, and we all understand the benefits of keeping a hive or two of honey bees near the garden. But amidst all the buzz about honey bees, we sometimes overlook the contributions of the humble bumble bee to the success of our gardens. There’s…

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How to Build a Bee House

Gardening for pollinators involves using native plants, choosing pollinator-friendly herbs and annuals and leaving some plants standing over winter to provide nesting space and cover for pollinators. But, you can also provide shelter more directly by building (or buying) a bee house. Bee House Basics You’ve probably seen bee houses in your neighborhood. They consists…

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How to Support Pollinators in Fall

By Hannah Dove As the hot summer winds cool and leaves turn crimson and tangerine, a peak period of nectar flow begins. Nectar flow refers to a stretch of time when one or more major nectar sources are blooming – in this instance, right before our hardworking bees and butterflies prepare to hibernate or migrate.…

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Plant Profile: Monarda Punctata

Spotted beebalm is a guaranteed pollinator magnet. Add it to your garden or property and you will see pollinators—butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbird moths, hummingbirds and others. While it’s a biennial or short-lived perennial, it readily self-seeds and naturalizes when the conditions match its needs. The colors of this aromatic plant are unusual—lavender and white leaf-like…

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What is a Bee Lawn?

Many gardeners are adding perennials, shrubs and trees that support pollinators to their landscapes. But, how about your lawn? We’re seeing more interest in “bee lawns,” including support from the state of Minnesota  to encourage lawns that are good for pollinators and the planet. Dutch white clover is a key component of bee lawns. What…

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Pollinator Packs for Northern Gardeners

Since our 150th anniversary in 2016, MSHS has been promoting Pollinator Packs for gardeners interested in attracting bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. The idea for the Pollinator Packs came from volunteer Mary Maguire Lerman, who thought they would be a great way to celebrate the anniversary and encourage more gardeners to care about pollinators.…

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For the Love of Affinis: MSHS and U Bee Squad Join Forces

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of Northern Gardener. The University of Minnesota Bee Squad and MSHS are joining forces to bring you a full day of programming centered on supporting endangered pollinators. The event will be held Saturday, June 23, at the Cargill Building on the St. Paul campus of the…

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