Flowers for pollinators
Growing landscapes for bees and other pollinators
On this page
- Create a pollinator-friendly landscape
- Pollinator biology and identification
- Pollinator conservation
Pollinators help plants grow fruit or seeds 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. Bees are one of the most well-known pollinators, but there are a variety of other pollinators including ants, flies, beetles, birds and more!
Pollinator health is critical to our food system and the diversity of life across the world. Each of us can contribute to pollinator-friendly environments. We can plant flowers with pollen and nectar, create habitat and nesting sites, and eliminate the use of pesticides that are dangerous to pollinators.
Steps 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.
Create a pollinator-friendly landscape
- Pollinators and their habitat - Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Plants for Minnesota bees
- Flowering bee lawns
- Selecting plants and seed mixes (1,330 K PDF)
- Benefits of native grasses
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Plant Online Information: 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 (3,777 K PDF)
Pollinator biology and identification
- Guide to Minnesota bumble bees: Females (1,979 K PDF)
- Guide to Minnesota bumble bees: Males (3,180 K PDF)
- Common pollinators in Minnesota landscapes (939 K PDF)
- Discover Life
- Bug Guide
- Bee diversity
- More than bumble bees (680 K PDF)
- USGS bee inventory and monitoring lab
- Plight of the bumble bee: Minnesota's threatened and endangered bumble bees
- Pollinator Conservation, Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability
- Minnesota's Pollinators - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- The Xerces Society
Volunteer to be a citizen scientist
- Extension Master Gardener program
- Extension Master Naturalist program
- The Minnesota Bee Atlas
- Flowers for Pollinators blog
- Bumble Bee Watch
- The Great Sunflower Project
- Minnesota Bumble Bee Survey
Watch bees in slow motion interact with and pollinate flowers. (1:33 min.)
Notice the differences between the newborn bee and the adult bee. (1:15 min.)
How to incorporate flowering plants into lawns in order to give pollinators more forage in the landscape. (6:54 min.)
Watch an Andrena bee feed on nectar from a mustard plant. (0:44 min.)