Are you interested in bees and pollinators, but you don’t know where to begin? Check out this upcoming webinar series to help guide you in your apiary ambitions. University of Minnesota Extension Educators are excited to bring you the webinar series "How can I help pollinators? Honey bees, native bees, or both?"

This three-part series will help inform you before starting in honey production or pollinator habitat planning. Join us Feb. 1-3 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. each afternoon for this free webinar. You must pre-register for this series at z.umn.edu/BeeSeries to receive the webinar links.

This webinar series will cover the following topics:

Tuesday, Feb. 1: Pollinators and beekeeping: what’s the difference? – UMN Extension Educator Claire LaCanne, Rice and Steele counties

Are you interested in helping pollinator insects or raising them? Though there can be some overlap, these are two separate, distinct goals. Keeping honey bees is like caring for livestock, with the objective of harvesting honey or using their crop pollination services. Helping our native pollinator insects primarily focuses on providing suitable food and habitat for them.

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Extension Educator Claire LaCanne will highlight the goals of beekeeping and promoting pollinators and guide you through the differences.

Wednesday, Feb. 2: Honey bee production: the tiniest livestock — Dr. Katie Lee, UMN Extension educator in apiculture

Thinking about becoming a new beekeeper? There are many compelling reasons to keep honey bees, but before beginning the process, it’s helpful to know the honey bee basics. What equipment will you need? When and how do I order my bees? How can I keep my bees happy and healthy? Dr. Katie Lee will guide you in the beginning steps of beekeeping.

Thursday, Feb. 3: Actions to help pollinators — Dr. Elaine Evans, UMN Extension professor and researcher in native pollinators

Learn about pollinators present in Minnesota and action steps you can take to support pollinator health and diversity. By following four action steps, you can create a haven for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

A bee lands on a purple coneflower at the home of Bill and Jessie Blanchard. (Lowell Anderson / Echo Press)
A bee lands on a purple coneflower at the home of Bill and Jessie Blanchard. (Lowell Anderson / Echo Press)

To join all or one of these webinars, register at z.umn.edu/BeeSeries. You only need to register once to receive access to each topic. The Zoom link will be emailed to you immediately after you register. If you are unable to attend the live sessions, you will receive the recording via email after all sessions have been completed. If you have questions about the webinar series or need assistance with registration, please call your local Extension office.

Residents in Douglas County may email trot0053@umn.edu or call 320-762-3890.

Robin Trott is a horticulture educator with University of Minnesota Extension. Contact her at 320-762-3890, or at trot0053@umn.edu.