UMN bee research.

Working for Bees

September 30, 2015

Marla Spivak with bees.Since 1918, the University’s Department of Entomology has maintained an internationlly recognized research, teaching, and outreach program on bees. Known today as the “Bee Lab,” the goal of the research is to promote the health of bee pollinators. Researchers have found several ways to reach this goal: 1) breeding better bees like the “Minnesota Hygienic Bees;” 2) discovering and studying natural bee defenses like propolis; 3) reducing pesti- cide usage; 4) providing research discoveries to beekeepers; and 5) improving conservation and management of other pollinators to reduce the stress on bees. 


Know to Grow

Bee Friendly Tips: For a bee-friendly garden, focus on a diversity of flowering plants. Colorful nectar-producing plants are ideal, such as asters, goldenrod, and sunflowers. Flowering fruits, vegetables, and herbs are also great choices. Bees need food through- out the season so look for long blooming varieties that will bloom at different times of the season (ideally April–September). Avoid pesticides and fungicides and let a few dandelions slip by—they are one of the earliest food sources for bees in April.