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Colorado State University Extension offices like the one in Clear Creek County bring the research and resources of the university within easy reach, and Christine Crouse, the solo Director and Agent is here to help. Contact her at (303) 679-2424.

Mountain Pollinators   arrow

Mountain Pollinators title slide with bees on yellow flower

Did you know that Colorado has over 900 species of bees? The honeybee is just one of those species. So what’s all the BUZZ? Humans depend on pollinators for about 1/3rd of our diet, with the most nutritious part being vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Many of these staples are pollinated by native bees! However, bees and other pollinator populations around the world are declining. Learn how to recognize native bees, develop pollinator habitat, and support our pollinators locally.

At our mountain elevations you will find solitary native mason and leafcutter bees which you will learn more about on this page and our recommended resources.

Comparing Mason Bees vs Leafcutter Bees

Infographic comparing Mason and Leafcutter Bees

CSU Extension Pollinator Fact Sheets

CSU Fact Sheet 5.504  Attracting Butterflies to the Garden
CSU Fact Sheet 5.615 Attracting Native Bees to Your Landscape
CSU Fact Sheet 5.525  Nuisance Wasps and Bees
CSU Fact Sheet 5.576  Leafcutter Bees

Build a Mason Bee Lodge

Title Bee Lodges and pictures of different lodges for solitary mason and leafcutter bees

If you are making a lodge, consider getting a bee house/lodge and natural reed tubes. If you are making a lodge, consider getting a house and natural reed tubes (as opposed to the paper or cardboard tubes). We do not recommend ordering bee cocoons as their Mason and Leafcutter Bees may not be the exact same species of Mason and Leafcutter bees as the mountain pollinators in our area.

Plant Recommendations for Habitat Gardening

  1. Use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring to late fall
  2. Choose variety of colors and shapes
  3. Plant in clumps rather than singly                        
  4. Include plants native to your area…
  5. Find diverse and multi-season plants in your zip code with www.nwf.org

Learn More About Pollinators

Book Recommendations

  • Rocky Mountain Butterflies and Moths by James Kavanagh
  • The Bees in your Backyard by Joseph Wilson
  • Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies by the Xerces Society
  • Our Native Bees by Paige Embry
  • Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy
  • Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
  • Pollinators of Native Plants by Healther Holm
  • Mason Bee Revolution by Dave Hunter
  • Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy
  • Turn This Book into a Beehive! by Lynn Brunelle

Other Video

Other

  • “Request-a-bug” Biological pest control: 866-324-2963
  • Visit our Clear Creek Native Plant Demo Garden next to the Georgetown Heritage Center at 809 Taos St, Georgetown, CO 80444

Please contact Chris with any additional questions, comments, or to request the replay of the Mountain Pollinators presentation!

For more information contact Christine Crouse at Clear Creek County CSU Extension

Our Mountain Pollinators Presentation Resources

  • A Field Guide to Western Butterflies, 2nd Edition. 1999. P.A. Opler and A. Wright (illustrator). Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton-Mifflin.
  • Alexander, L.T. How to Create a Butterfly Garden above 7,500’.  Gilpin County Master Gardeners, October 2006.
  • Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  http://fws.gov/pollinators
  • Bumble Bee Conservation: Protecting North America’s Disappearing Pollinators.  The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
  • Butterflies of North America. P.A. Opler, R.E. Stanford, H. Pavulaan, coordinators, USDI-USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.
  • Butterfly Gardening: Creating Summer Magic in Your Garden. 1990. Xerces Society, in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Sierra Club Books. San Francisco.
  • Colorado Beekeepers.  www.coloradobeekeepers.org/
  • Emmel, T.C., M.C. Minno and B.A. Drummond. 1992. Florissant Butterflies: A Guide to the Fossil and Present Day Species of Central Colorado. Stanford University Press. Stanford, CA.
  • Ferris, C.D., and F.M. Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman, OK.
  • National Park Service Pollinators info
  • Opler, P., and S.W. Strawn. 1988. Butterflies of the American West: A Coloring Album. Roberts Rinehart. Niwot, CO.
  • Cool Colorado Bees.
  • Oregon State, Washington State, Michigan State Extension
  • Turn this book into a Beehive! by Lynn Brunelle…
  • Opler, P., and A.B. Wright. 1994. Peterson First Guides. Butterflies and Moths. Houghton Mifflin. Boston, New York.
  • Protecting Pollinators:  Pesticide use around the home and in the garden
  • Selecting Plants for Pollinators: A Regional Guide for Farmers, Land Managers, and Gardeners In The Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe Open Woodland Coniferous Forest Alpine Meadow Province.

Keeping ahead of COVID-19

This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed an unsettling, fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. While the team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are making a number of significant changes to our operations to account for a situation that is far from normal.