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


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


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.

Trump's regulation freeze means MN bumblebee isn't on endangered species list ... yet

The rusty patched bumblebee's entry onto the endangered species list is up in the air for now.

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.