A Bumblebee on a Bee Balm
Bumblebee on a Bee Balm, a pollinator friendly plant.

Pollinator Friendly

Macalester has had a long-standing commitment to sustainable, pollinator-friendly landscaping. Some of our efforts include our Landscaping Master Plan, the creation of the Pollinator Path, annual Pollinator Day events, and hosting a Pollinate Minnesota bee hive at the Ordway Field Station host honey bee hives that are maintained by Pollinate Minnesota.

The Larger Problem

In recent history, honey bees have had increasing difficulty with survival due to lack of habitat, pesticides, and mites. The Rusty Patched Bumblebee, a bee native to the Twin Cities, was added to the endangered species list in 2017. We hope that pollinator friendly initiatives at Macalester can help support this bee by providing safe urban habitat and food sources.

Pollinator Friendly Macalester: A Resolution

As a result of a class project, Emily Sylvestre ’16 with help from the Center for Food Safety, Macalester became the first pollinator-friendly, neonicotinoid-free college in Minnesota in April of 2016. This recognition comes from the BEE Protective Campaign, a program led by Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides.

A resolution was ratified by the College’s student government body and adopted by the VP of Administration and Finance and the Assistant Vice President of Facilities. The signed Pollinator Friendly Resolution commits Macalester to discontinue the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, to plant pollinator-friendly landscaping, and to bolster pollinator education at Macalester rand to the broader community.

Progress

As a part of implementing the College’s Landscaping Master Plan, Macalester joins nearly 30 Minnesota municipalities who have signed pollinator friendly resolutions and sets an example for other campus landscape plans.

Macalester is continuously working to increase native pollinator friendly plants across campus.

Pollinator Path

The Sustainability Office collaborated with staff the University of St. Thomas to create our Pollinator Path. Both colleges are hoping to connect these paths and create an entire Pollinator Path Network, by recognizing pollinator friendly yards throughout the in between neighborhoods and working with other nearby colleges in the future.

The Pollinator Path consists of eight sites – seven of which are located in Saint Paul, while the eighth is in Inver Grove Heights at the Ordway Field Station.  Throughout the path we have a printed Pollinator Path Flyer (PDF) to use as your guide as you walk the path.

Path Locations

Take Action

We have complied an extensive list of Pollinator Tips for anyone residing off campus to make their homes pollinator friendly. Some quick tips are:

  • Buy organic, pesticide-free produce
  • Plant a diversity of flowers with varied bloom times to provide pollinator food all season long
  • Do not buy neonicotinoid treated seeds and avoid the use of pesticides
  • Advocate that your community become pollinator friendly; pledge to increase clean habitat and reduce pesticide use
  • For further facts about the Rusty Patch Bumblebee and actions you can take to ensure their survival, see the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Website

Additional Resources