Heather Holm

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Minnetonka, Minnesota 55345

Heather Holm is a horticulturist and biologist by training, as well as a writer, designer, and publisher. She is the author of Pollinators of Native Plants and the forthcoming book (Feb 2017) Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide.

w: Pollinators of Native Plants

w: Restoring The Landscape With Native Plants

w: Houzz Contributor

e: contact@pollinatorsnativeplants.com

Additional Information

Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide


In addition to taking part in native bee research projects, Heather informs and educates audiences in the Midwest and Northeast, through her writing and many presentations, about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them. In her most recent research project, she assisted University of Minnesota Extension faculty in a two-year study to determine the types of native bees present in cultivated blueberry farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The study included developing customized plans to enhance and expand both forage crops and nesting sites within the farms.

Heather has written for Houzz, a social media website, about pollinators, benefi cial insects, and native plants. Her fi rst book, Pollinators of Native Plants, published in 2014, established her as a knowledgeable resource on the subject of the interactions between native bees and native plants. In her spare time, Heather is an active community supporter, writing grants and coordinating neighborhood volunteer landscape restoration projects. Currently, she is working on three projects with volunteers, restoring approximately ten acres of city-owned park land in her neighborhood.


What You Can Do For Pollinators: Creating a Pollinator-Friendly Garden Habitat
Learn about the types of native pollinators that visit our gardens and how we can foster all parts of their life cycles, including providing food, water and nesting habitat. The top native plant species for pollinators will also be discussed.

Common Native Bees: Their Life Cycle, Foraging Behavior and Role in the Pollination of Native Plants
This presentation explores the nesting habitat, life cycle, pollen collection, brood rearing, and general characteristics of 17 common genera of native bees occurring in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes area. The pollination of native plants and the mutualism between plants and bees is also highlighted. Heather also discusses the presentation of floral resources and how the physical characteristics of bees can influence the bees' effectiveness as pollinators.

The Pollination of Native Plants
This presentation is a fascinating journey showcasing the development of different flower types and the presentation of floral resources to pollinators. Exploring the types of insect pollinators, their foraging behavior, and the floral features that attract pollinators, Heather will provide many specific examples of how native plants are pollinated and what pollinator is most effective and why. 

Habitat Matters: Lessons Learned From Enhancing Native Bee Habitat on Blueberry Farms
In this presentation you will learn about the current research project I am working on in Minnesota and Wisconsin blueberry farms. I discuss the project objectives and reasons for studying native bees on blueberry farms, the sampling methods, native bee candidates (for blueberry pollination services), the nesting habitat of the bees, and the native plant forage recommendations. The presentation also explores the habitat evaluation of the farms, and the considerations for what kind of forage could be provided for the native bee candidates pre, and post-blueberry bloom.

Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects 
with Native Plants
Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitat of native bees will also be covered along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.

Native Bees of Prairie Ecosystems and Their Role as Pollinators of Native Plants 
Learn about the nesting habitat, life cycle, pollen collection, foraging behavior and general characteristics of common genera of native bees in prairie ecosystems. This presentation examines the pollination of native plants and the mutualism between native plants and bees including the presentation of floral resources and the influence of bees' physical characteristics on their effectiveness as pollinators.

Gardening for Bees and Butterflies
Learn about the life cycles of bees and butterflies including where and when they nest, forage and seek shelter and food in our landscapes. Learn about pollination and which native plants are specifically pollinated by bees or butterflies. The top native plant species for different habitats will also be highlighted for both bees and butterflies including butterfly host plants.

Selecting Native Trees and Shrubs that Support Pollinators
While most trees are wind-pollinated, the ones that are insect-pollinated provide important forage for pollinators, especially in early spring. Learn about which canopy trees, small trees, and shrubs are insect-pollinated and the types of pollinators each plant attracts. Factors influencing pollinator visitation including flower structure, flower resources, flowering phenology, and the plant community where the woody plant occurs will also be discussed.

Native Bees and Predatory Wasps of Prairie Ecosystems: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Learn about the nesting habitat, life cycle, pollen collection, foraging behavior, and general characteristics of common genera of native bees and predatory wasps in prairie ecosystems. This presentation examines factors that influence prairie management decisions including pollinator seasonality, floral preferences, plant community structure, bee-plant specialist relationships, and timing of prescribed burns and mowing.


Midwest, Northeast, Great Lakes, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, North Dakota

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Audience Reviews

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THe Best

Deb from MI - 04/01/2018 23:04:22

Heather Holm is an incredible resource. I have listened to her twice and have read her books. I wish all gardeners could hear her speak , perhaps that would change the exotic plant market to one that supports our native pollinators.

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Incredible Information

Jeff Z from Nicollet, MN - 01/20/2016 19:27:38

Heather gave a presentation on native bees at a recent pollinator workshop and was easily the best speaker there, many attendees had positive comments.

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More please

Hal Mann from Perrysburg, Ohio - 11/20/2014 14:31:26

We brought Heather to Northwest Ohio to speak at the 2014 Ohio Prairie Conference. Her presentation was a resounding success. She researched and tailored her presentation to the native plants and pollinators of our area. She wowed the crowd with her easy-going yet incredibly knowledgeable style of talking. She also did a presentation the following day for a general audience and likewise wowed them. We'll have her back at the next opportunity and I'll certainly go well out of my way to hear her again and again.