Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula’s Marilyn Marler has had a varied career.

She was a City Councilor, a State Legislator, and now as UM's Natural Areas Specialist, she is helping the University of Montana celebrate its Bee Campus USA Accreditation during Pollinator Week, which starts on Monday, June 17.

I spoke to Marler on Thursday as she was preparing for the upcoming activities planned for next week.

UM will Celebrate Pollinator Week Starting June 17

“We're going to kick off pollinator week on Monday the 17th of June celebrating something happy, which is that the University of Montana has been recognized as a ‘Bee Campus USA’, which is a national program of universities across the United States that have made a commitment to managing for pollinators, specifically bees, in their landscaping on campus,” began Marler.

Marler is knowledgeable about many natural sciences, including ethnobotany.

“Bee Campus USA does focus more on bees,” she said. “Usually, when I'm talking to someone and I start talking about bees, they're usually thinking about honey bees, but honey bees are just one species of bees, and meanwhile, there are 450 other species of bees in Montana, and they're beautiful and they're fascinating, and they don't make honey, and they don't get as much attention as the honey bees, but they're important for a lot of different reasons.”

The University of Montana has Achieved 'Bee Campus USA' Status

One of the individuals that Marler will be working with during Pollinator Week is Marirose Kuhlman.

“When we have our celebration on Monday, at 12:30 p.m., Marirose Kuhlman is going to lead an insect walk and a pollinator walk through one of the gardens on campus,” she said. “So we'll say a few happy words about becoming a Bee campus, USA; we'll put in a sign, and then Marirose will talk about the bees that are found on campus.”

Marler noted that the vast majority of Missoula lawns leave no room for native bee habitat, but she described one method of making a yard more ‘bee-friendly’.

READ MORE: How to Have a Montana Summer Free of Wasps and Yellowjackets

Marler  Describes one way to Make Your Yard  more 'Bee Friendly'

“If you want to do a little something for bee habitat, you could remove a little section of lawn,” she said. “It doesn't have to be big, and you could put in some flowering shrubs that are native to Montana, and just make a little bee corner. The native bees range in size from hard to see with your naked eye to about as big as your thumb, and generally, they are not going to sting people unless you really go out of your way to hassle them.”

The University of Montana received its Bee Campus USA accreditation in May.

30 Items That Montana Goodwill Will NOT Accept

Gallery Credit: KC

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM