A rare bumble bee has been sighted in northeastern Iowa. Kaytlan Moeller, Outreach Coordinator for Dubuque County Conservation, calls it a “super-exciting” find.
The bees were found in a “Mowing to Monarchs” program prairie area late this summer. The county created the program to develop native habitat three years ago, with the goal to help the endangered monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
All Iowans can help pollinators like bumblebees and butterflies. Moeller says it’s as simple as leaving your fall leaves and other dead plants where they are for the winter, a movement called “Leave the Leaves.”
Moeller says our yards can help sequester carbon, improve water quality, rebuild biodiversity and still be beautiful. Nearly 200 Dubuque County landowners have participated in this ongoing program, planting 120,000 square feet of prairie — and Moeller says it’s been a big success that has the potential to take off in other areas, too.