UDOT and USU pilot project protecting Utah’s bumblebees

Jul 19, 2023, 7:33 AM

At the northbound I-15 rest stop in Perry, there is a pollinator garden. A new pilot program from U...

At the northbound I-15 rest stop in Perry, there is a pollinator garden. A new pilot program from UDOT and USU is working to protect bumblebees. (Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

(Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

PERRY, Box Elder County — A new pilot project from the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University is protecting bumblebees.

At the northbound I-15 rest stop in Perry, in Box Elder County, you will find a pollinator garden that spans about 1 acre.

The idea is to give pollinators more habitat while teaching us how we can do our part to help bees at home.

“Pollinators are in decline. It’s been well-established in literature, in the studies,” Becky Yeager said.

She is part of a team of biologists who spent the last two years creating the garden.

“You know most of the food that we eat relies on pollinators,” she said. “Without pollinators, we would not have food on our table. Our animals would not have food.”

The biologists believe if they build some habitat with a number of familiar native flowers, a number of pollinating insects will come.

Yeager said, “They’re losing habitat, nectaring sources; pesticide use is a big impact to pollinators. There’s a number of factors, climate change.”

While it typically takes around seven years for something like this to really take hold with bees and other pollinators, Yeager said there are already signs that it’s working.

“I can’t believe it became so established so quickly, so successfully in just one year,” she said.

The garden includes signs, links and QR codes that give people ideas on how to help pollinators back at their homes.

“We have over 900 species of native bees in our state, which is pretty phenomenal. We should be pretty proud of that,” Yeager said.

The biologists are looking for community volunteers to help maintain the Perry garden and ideally other gardens around the state in future years.

Yeager said, “I don’t think we’ll fully know if it’s successful for another three or four years, but everything is pointing in the right direction.”

A second pollinator garden is being built at the southbound rest stop near Brigham City. It will serve mostly as a seeding source for future sites.



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


a big bear...

Tim Hughes

Fat Bear Week is here, learn how to participate and get some other wildlife viewing in too

Fat Bear Week kicked off on Monday and gives people the chance to view wildlife from the comfort of their own home.

19 hours ago

Jack Walpole stays cool by sitting in his chair in the water as he and his family enjoy the day at ...

Emma Keddington

Utah getting two new community fishing ponds

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife board approved the new fisheries that will open next year.

8 days ago

MILLCREEK — Coyotes are popping up more often in more Salt Lake neighborhoods. Millcreek is the ...


‘They’re following people in our neighborhoods’: Millcreek sees uptick in coyote sightings

Coyotes are popping up more often in more Salt Lake neighborhoods. Millcreek is the latest city to report more coyote encounters.

12 days ago

A roundtail chub out of water....

Mariah Maynes

Roundtail chub nursery pond created by Moab City, DWR

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said it has partnered with Moab City to create a nursery pond to raise roundtail chub.

14 days ago

An archery target with arrows sticking out. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has provided so...

Tim Hughes

DWR to offer free entry to 2 shooting ranges for National Hunting and Fishing Day

Utahns with a valid state hunting, fishing or combination license will get free entry to two ranges for National Hunting and Fishing Day.

15 days ago

Dogs chasing wildlife...

Mark Jones

DWR says deer, elk and fish among wildlife most commonly poached in Utah

Chad Bettridge, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says deer, elk and fish are the most common wildlife to be poached in Utah.

20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

UDOT and USU pilot project protecting Utah’s bumblebees