Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service help a youth group identify insects during a prairie survey in 2018. When bees are caught, they are placed in cups and go into a cooler. This slows the bees down long enough for them to be identified.
Earth action hero: Helping bees in Bloomington
Even bees need a good home. Bee houses are located at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 3815 American Boulevard East. One is in front of the visitor’s center and the other is in the back by a wetland. The bee houses are part of a greater effort to help bees and other pollinators thrive in Bloomington. In recent years, pollinator numbers have decreased due to pesticide use, habitat loss, climate change and disease.
The prairie restorations located at the refuge and Civic Plaza are vital to the livelihood of rusty patched bumble bees along with other insects, birds, and wildlife. Plantings of native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees create corridors of habitat so bees and other pollinators don’t have to travel as far for food.
Want to help bees and other pollinators? Provide nesting areas for bees with a bee house or a reserved natural area. Avoid pesticide use, and add some native plants to your garden or landscape.
“Anyone and everyone can plant something that is beneficial,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Urban Biologist Nicole Menard said.
For more information, call 952-563-8700.