Development spotlight: the Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation and the U of M Bee Lab's new partnership

Horst’s efforts to discover and highlight the health benefits found in nature will continue on in the HMR Pollinator Project. This three-part project with the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will create an expansive pollinator habitat on the Horst M. Rechelbacher farm in Osceola, Wisconsin. The sanctuary will include organic pollinator gardens and sustainable farm plots and extensive acreage of habitat for wild bees, butterflies, birds and bats.

The sanctuary will also serve as a long-term research and training site for scientists, students and educators. Research projects will include the study of honey bee food plots and forage patterns and yearly surveys of wild bee populations. The site will also serve as training grounds for Bee Squad members and others to learn about wild bee identification. Future research projects will focus on bees and may include other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats or birds. Future training projects will include establishing a Bee Squad teaching apiary to serve area community members interested in beekeeping.

Public engagement and education is a third component of the Pollinator Project. There will be demonstration gardens, a network of hiking trails, a pollinator lending library, and a focus on engagement through citizen science projects and public art with environmental themes.

We are looking forward to all the wonderful research and community outreach that will result from this unique partnership!