Thursday, February 21, 2019
Native Bees come in all kinds of shapes and sizes! Some are so small you would never consider them a bee while others like our native Bumble Bees can be quite large. Most of the 5,000+ native bee species of North America are solitary ground-nesting bees. They find small spaces in undisturbed soil to make their homes and lay their eggs for the next generation. Anything that is sprayed on plants; pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, etc... eventually ends up washing off with rain or watering and ends up in the soil and the native bee's home. As you can imagine many of these substances can be detrimental to the health of ground-nesting bees. Three easy ways you can help native bees and pollinators: Don't spray or use any type of pesticide or insecticide. Designate a patch of your yard (10' x 10') to re-wild. Plant some native plant species in this space. Here is an excellent resource from the national wildlife foundation to find plants that are native to your area; https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/ You may need to water the plants the first year to get them started. After that, leave that patch alone. Go sit by it on a sunny summer morning and enjoy all of the happy tiny pollinators!