Minneapolis Health Department

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Minneapolis, MN 55415
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Conservation of Minneapolis Bees Project

A City that Works - Pollinator Project


Pollinator Points Program Citizen Survey

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Pollinator Points Survey. The Pollinator Point Program Survey will be opened again this Spring of 2018. The link to the survey is coming soon. Results from the survey will be posted here in the Summer of 2018. 

The C.O.M.B Project Mission

Mayor Hodges and the City Council passed a resolution calling attention to the dwindling local bee population in the City of Minneapolis. As a part of this resolution, the Environmental Services unit of the Health Department has created a website on how to create pollinator habitat and pollinator friendly practices. These resources should help pave the way for a more pollinator friendly community in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Pollinator Resolution

The Value of a Pollinator

Want to plant a Pollinator Garden? We can help.

Would you or your business want native neonicotinoid-free plant to start or add to your pollinator garden?

Environmental Services has funding to give out a half a flat of plants, signage (while supplies last), and a certificate to residents or businesses who participate in the Pollinator Points Program.

Join some of the research happening within the City of Minneapolis by helping figure out just how much pollinator habitat exists in the City. Each person who takes the 10 questions quiz will receive half a flat of native pollinator friendly plants, free signage, and a certificate. Participate by taking this survey.

Do you have a community space, multi-family residential property or a business that has green space?

Environmental Services also has funding to provide pollinator friendly trees and shrubs to community, multi-family residential, and commercial spaces.

If you have questions please call Tiana Cervantes at 612-673-3515 or email [email protected]

Problems for Pollinators


The Four Steps to Creating Pollinator Habitat

Step 1: Assessment

Collect information about the size, soil, the sun exposure, plants already present, and chemical treatment history.

Identify what pollinators are present and what plants they seem to be gravitating to. This can help with plant selection.

Here is a link that the Xerces Society has created to help owners assess natural areas and rangelands. It also helps guide what should be down when restoring a site. 

Step 2: Preservation

Protect habitat and pollinators by avoiding or limiting the use of pesticides on the area. Some tips when using chemical treatments:

  1. Use chemicals without neonicotinoids

  2. Use chemicals with pollinator protection box

  3. Use less harmful alternatives such as organic-approved pesticides or pollinator friendly pest control.

  4. For more information about pesticides management visit managing pesticides to protect bees provided by the Xerces Society.

Step 3: Creation

When buying plants, ask your vendor if the plants and seeds were chemically treated. If a plant is treated with chemicals, it could potentially hurt pollinators. Beyond Pesticides provides a list of places that sell pollinator friendly seeds and plantings.

Pick a diversity of different native plant species of plant ranging with flowers varying in shape, color, length, and size. These difference help draw different kinds of pollinators.

Plant species that bloom in fall, spring, and summer. This will provide foraging areas throughout the seasons for different pollinators.

Leave spaces of bare area and plant native grasses to provide nesting material for bees. One can also create artificial nests to promote the bee population. The Xerces Society has created a link that shows how to create different types of nests for native bees.

Some great native plant lists can be found through the U of M, the U of M Bee Squad, the Xerces Society, and Prairie Moon Nursery.  


Step 4: Maintenance

Watering needs vary if seeds or transplants were used on a site. Transplants should be watered the first year depending on the condition of the site. As for seedlings, regular irrigation for the first few months can help promote growth.

Make sure to weed the areas that are going to have plants beforehand and continue to do so then the plants are installed.

Pollinator on coneflower    Many pollinators on a yellow flower    Pollinator on white flower


Special Consideration Sites

Roadside Restoration

When dealing with roadside, invasive species have to be controlled and eradicated as much as possible before planting. Planting native plants that are already seen in the area may help push out and control invasive.

Make sure to use pollinator-friendly practices when it comes to treating invasive species. See above for details.

Information about Roadsides and a plant selector based on your assessment of the area:

  1. Best Management Practices for Roadsides and Right-Of-Ways - MN DOA
  2. Plant Selector for Roadside Plantings - MNDot

Lawn care

Leave clover and dandelions in your yard to provide foraging areas for bees.

Be conscious of how often and when you mow your lawn. Mowing every other week, and not mowing during blooming times, will benefit local pollinators.

Thinking about a lawn care service? Make sure you discuss your interest in conserving pollinators and their habitat with them.

 Additional Resources

Minneapolis takes action to protect dwindling local bee population
What’s the Buzz? Raising Bees in the City of Minneapolis
Minnesota's Pollinators - MN DNR
Minnesota Pollinator Resources - MN DNR
Pollinator Best Management Practices for MN Yards and Gardens - MDA
Pollinator Conservation Resources - Great Lakes Region - Xerces Society
Landscaping with Native Plants - MN DNR
Pollinator Biology and Habitat - Natural Resource Conservation Service

Contact Environmental Services at: [email protected] and ask for Tiana Cervantes


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Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Last updated Feb 23, 2018



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Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 


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