By Shelli-Kae Foster
Did you know there are 350 – 400 different species of bees in Minnesota? Dr. Lewis Struthers, 79 -year old retired doctor and current University of Minnesota Master Gardener and bee keeper, met with a group of YES! students at Parkers Prairie as part one of a series of mini-workshops on native plants, bees and creating a rain garden. Lewis explained that bees communicate by dancing and are very social. Students held a honey comb and asked great questions such as “How do bees survive in Minnesota winters?” Lewis answered, “Bees can survive as long as they have honey and temperatures do not drop below – 35 F.”
Lewis talked with the students about the important role bees play in pollinating native plants and how native plants improve local water quality by filtering out salt and other chemicals before it reaches the water table and flows into local lakes. Lewis invited the students to visit his bee farm this spring and the students said “YES!” they would love to.