Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Endangered bumblebee delays Twin Cities road project

The project is on pause because there could be endangered bees in the area.

Hennepin County is delaying a southern Twin Cities road project because of a bee.

And it's not just any bee – it's the rusty patched bumblebee which was recently recognized as an endangered species.

The county was supposed to start fixing up Flying Cloud Drive – County Road 61 – in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen this spring. But according to a project update, the work area is near a habitat where the bumblebee could potentially thrive.

Hennepin County officials tell KARE 11 they're looking to see if the bee is around there or not.

So far, none of the bees have been spotted there. But conservationists want to be safe.

The county is working with federal officials for direction; however, it looks like the project is on hold until further notice. County officials hope to start things up later this year.

What is the construction project, anyways?

Well, it's supposed to be a two-step project.

First, the county wants to focus on fixing up Flying Cloud Drive from Charlson Road to Spring Road. Workers will spend about a year fixing up the driving surface and making the road more safe. It'll also be raised a bit to help minimize closures if the Minnesota River floods.

Once that's finished, the county will focus on another stretch from Spring Road to County Road 101. That will take about 16 months to complete.

For the latest on this project, click here.

About the rusty patched bumblebee

The rusty patched bumblebee is native to the Midwest, and it used to be super common 20 years ago.

Wildlife officials say it had been found in 28 different states. But since the late 1990s, the rusty patched bumblebee population has rapidly plummeted by 87 percent. Now they’re only found in 13 states – including Minnesota – and one Canadian province.

Experts say several factors can be attributed to this decline: Loss of habitat, disease and parasites, pesticides, climate change, and just having a small population.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can help the bees, click here.

Next Up

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

chad davis arradondo flickr

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo to retire next month

He's overseen the MPD since mid-2017, following the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, December 6

The latest from the state health department.

Related

SeaWorld's famous orca that killed 3 people and inspired a documentary has died

Tilikum inspired the documentary "Blackfish" and lived to be 36 years old.

The Honey Nut Cheerios bee has disappeared – just like a lot of other pollinators

Pollinators are dying off, and General Mills wants people to know they can help save the bees.

Twin Cities roads have some of the most congested bottlenecks in the U.S.

Minnesota is home to four of the country's worst bottlenecks for trucks.

Twin Cities roads have some of the most congested bottlenecks in the U.S.

Minnesota is home to four of the country's worst bottlenecks for trucks.