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We don’t know much about native insects. Until they are gone, we don’t realize that they are part of the fabric of our region that helps hold plant and animal life in balance.
Heather Holm of the Minneapolis, Minnesota area has a rare combination of interests, native plants, native insects, landscaping and a desire to convey what she has learned to the public.
She gave a talk about native pollinators at the international Master Gardener two years ago and this year at the Siouxland Garden Show in Sioux City, Iowa.
For the article link below she identified several common native insects and shared information about them. Mining bee and leafcutter bee photos are courtesy of Heather Holm.
Native bumblebees are social nesters that pollinate many kinds of flowers such as this native thistle. We see bumblebees throughout the season and assume they are the same kind of bee. In fact, there are many kinds of bumblebees, and they appear at different times in the growing season.
Swallowtail butterflies are one of the many insects attracted to native milkweeds.
Mining bees are common native bees in this region in spring and specialize in pollinating dogwoods and willows.
Native leafcutter bee of this region gathers pollen from many flowers including the crop alfalfa.
To find out about native insects of this region and the impact of insects on plants, see the link below. If you want to know which plants are better to attract and support native insects, you’ll find it and resources in this article.