Pollinator Friendly Fridley
Thank a Pollinator!
Pollinators, such as bees, birds, and butterflies are crucial to a healthy ecosystem. One-third of the food and drink produced in the United States depends on pollinators, especially bees. Many of our crops are pollinated by honey bees, and native bees make sure garden plants and wildflowers are pollinated. In Minnesota, there are close to 400 different types of native bees, with new species yet to be identified.
Fridley is a Pollinator-Friendly city! Check out our resolution to support pollinators.
How to Support a Pollinator
Pollinators are struggling due to habitat decline, parasites, and pesticide use, but you can help! Your lawn is an important part of Fridley's urban ecosystem and can provide valuable pollinator habitat. For a pollinator-friendly yard, shrink your turf grass and replace it with flowering plants. Here are some simple steps to create a pollinator garden.
Step 1. Prep your site
There are two main ways to plant a pollinator garden: by seed or using plugs. Seed mixes are typically less expensive, but take more time and maintenance to establish. Check out this guide from the Xerces Society for a step-by-step guide on removing turf grass and prepping an area for seeding.
Step 2. Buy your plants
Create a pollinator buffet by planting a diversity of plants that flower throughout the spring, summer, and fall. This list from the University of Minnesota and this tool from Blue Thumb can help you pick the right plants for your yard. When it comes to buying pollinator-friendly plants, many can be found at major nurseries. There are also stores that specialize in native plants and sell kits with a range of pre-selected plants for a pollinator garden. Always make sure to check that your seeds or plants haven't been pre-treated with pesticides that are harmful to pollinators.
Step 3. Maintain your garden
Like most gardens, pollinator gardens must be watered and weeded to thrive. Protect habitat and pollinators by limiting the amount of pesticides in your garden, especially those with neonicotinoids. Consider using pesticide alternatives or evaluating the way you apply pesticides. If your pollinator garden is planted with native perennial vegetation, make sure it has an edged border- under Fridley city code, Designated Natural Areas must have an edged border to be exempt from mowing requirements.
Step 4. Go above and beyond
In addition to food, pollinators also need homes. While honey bees live in hives, most native bees live underground or in cavities. Incorporating pollinator nesting habitat into your pollinator garden can give it an extra boost.
Native pollinator plants usually provide a higher level of water quality treatment, since they have longer roots that filter more water and prevent erosion. If it's in the right location, your pollinator garden might also make a perfect rain garden!
Keeping bees in Fridley
Raising bees for honey can be a fun hobby with the proper training. Fridley residents are allowed to raise honeybees if they have a "Beekeeping License" from the City. Prior to receiving your license, you must submit a certificate of completion of a honeybee keeping course. Contact the City Clerk at 763-571-3450 for more information on how to obtain a "Bee Keeping" license.