About Pollinate Minnesota

Pollinate Minnesota is working toward a better Minnesota for pollinators and people.  We teach immersive education classes, establish educational hives with community partners, and advocate at the local, state and federal level for pollinator-friendly policies.

2015 was our pilot year

  • We taught over 5000 people about pollinators, with over 800 in beekeeping suits, working hives with us. Over 75% of these folks were elementary students, learning about bees through our immersive, standards based inquiry lessons. Over 95% had never worked a hive before.

  • With our help, Minneapolis and St. Paul became Minnesota's largest pollinator friendly communities.

  • We continued to pressure our state legislature and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to do the same for the whole state.

  • We kept 15 bee hives with 5 unique community partners.

Photo b y Emma Freeman Photography  at  Urban Roots  Demonstration Site

Photo by Emma Freeman Photography at Urban Roots Demonstration Site

Founder and Executive Director Erin Rupp

Erin Rupp has been an informal science educator for her adult life and a beekeeper for the past ten years. She founded Pollinate Minnesota in January 2015, to connect students and teachers of all ages to live honey bees and to the science, policy and media story of pollinator decline.

She loves experiential inquiry education, the Midwest, insects, fresh tomatoes, and pear honey.  She also loves how the seemingly tiny work bees and other pollinators do connects directly to our role in -and impact on- ecosystems.  This connection is discover-able and understandable by second graders and State Representatives alike.

While incubating the programming that is now Pollinate Minnesota within the Minneapolis beekeeping business, The Beez Kneez, for three years, Erin experienced, along with two other beekeepers, an acute pesticide kill of one of her Beez Kneez hives. She and others mobilized out of that experience, and in 2014, helped to get two nationally unprecedented pollinator protection laws passed in Minnesota.  

Pollinate Minnesota continues this focus on pollinator advocacy, and Erin works with local municipalities, and our state and region to become pollinator friendly.  She spearheaded this work with Minneapolis and St. Paul. She also consults with communities nationally.

Erin's a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul and grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  She serves on Governor Dayton’s Committee for Pollinator Protection.

Contact Erin at erin@pollinatemn.org or 612.245.6384

Volunteers, Interns, Staff  To Pollinate Minnesota, we need all of us!  We're working on growing our capacity and will have volunteer position descriptions here soon. Check back!

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