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Two monarch butterflies perched on purple Liatris flowers.

Build Habitat for Pollinators

Pollinators are everywhere. Pollinators is a general term for native and honey bees, butterflies and moths, and other insects (and mammals) that assist plants with completing the cycle of life from flower to fruit, seed, and young plants by bringing pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma).  

Major threats to our butterflies and bees include disease and pesticides, habitat destruction, fragmentation, and degradation of remnant prairies that provide both nectar and host plants. There are many ways to improve habitat for pollinators in your backyard, vegetable or flower garden, as well as the prairie, woodlands and savanna.

Wisconsin Bee Identification Guide

Developed by Patrick Liesch, Christy Stewart, and Christine Wen, the Wisconsin Bee Identification Guide covers the different groups or families of native bees in our prairies, savannas, backyards, gardens, and pastures.

Image of the Wisconsin Bee Identification Guide

Bumble Bees of Wisconsin

An online guide, information, and on-going research. This University of Wisconsin website is intended to help share the fascinating life history and biology of bumbles, as well as teach how to identify and conserve them here in Wisconsin. Additionally, consider getting involved in bumble bee citizen science projects to help collect vital data for scientists across the region.

A macro image of a rusty patched bumble bee on pink flowers.
Monarch butterfly perched on milkweed flower.Photo by Peter Gorman.

An online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures. 

An orange butterfly with white spots perched on a coneflower.

Wisconsin Butterflies

A guide to all the butterflies of Wisconsin, with sighting location information collected by butterfly watchers across the state.

The Xerces Society Pollinator Meadow
Upper Midwest Installation Guide and Checklist

These instructions provide in-depth guidance on how to install nectar and pollen habitat for bees in the form of native wildflower meadows in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. To plan a specific project use this guide with the checklist found at the end of the document.

Front cover of Pollinator Meadow Installation guide

The Xerces Society Interseeding Wildflowers to Diversify Grasslands for Pollinators

Native bees, honey bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators important to our ecosystems and agriculture need grassland wildflowers to survive. The recent declines of these pollinators have elevated the urgency to diversify stands dominated by grasses or weeds by incorporating wildflowers.

This publication provides guidelines and specific strategies for interseeding wildflowers into established grasslands and identifies species of wildflowers most likely to establish and persist in the Midwest and Great Plains.

Front cover of Interseeding Wildflowers to Diversify Grasslands for Pollinators guide.

Visit our Resources page for more helpful information about pollinators and prairies:

Need more help? Not sure where to start?

Monarch butterflies perched on purple flowers.
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