Leave Some Leaves for Bumblebees

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While many Minnesotans spent a large portion of their weekend toiling in their yards with the chore of raking leaves, an environmental expert suggests you leave the leaves alone — at least some of them.

Jill Utrup, a biologist with the Twin Cities U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, says create a pile of leaves at the edge of your yard or behind the house and just — leave it.

She says by not raking your leaves, you’re actually leaving a lot of beneficial habitat for many of our beneficial pollinators and one pollinator in particular that we’re concerned with is the rusty patched bumblebee, which is a federally endangered species.

If you’re concerned about having a hive of unruly insects in the vicinity of your home, Utrop says not to worry. She says only a single queen will actually overwinter, the rest of her colony will die off.

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