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2015 annual report

A closer look at native bees

Kandiyohi County

Native bee on flower

Pollinators are in peril. Awareness of this issue is growing, but questions remain—especially when it comes to answering the question, "What can I do to help?"

Master Gardeners are perfectly positioned to provide research-based information and technical assistance. One way they do this is by inviting researchers from the University of Minnesota and partner organizations to speak with their communities. Kandiyohi did this last fall by inviting Crystal Boyd, entomologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to speak about her native bee research happening in and around the county.

The Master Gardeners chose this topic because much of Boyd’s research was done in Kandiyohi County, and bee health has been a major topic across agriculture and horticulture in the recent months. Native bees are also important pollinators for prairie and grassland conservation.

About 50 attendees learned about bee species native to the Upper Midwest, and how to attract pollinator activity in their own gardens. According to Boyd, "You might be amazed by a rainbow of diversity if you look closely while bees are sipping nectar."

When issues become prominent, people look for information they can trust. They know they can get that from Master Gardener volunteers.

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