Thursday, May 27, 2021

Bees Are Essential

The USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership have teamed up to produce an excellent 40-page full color publication entitled Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees. It is authored by Beatriz Moisset, Ph.D. and Stephen Buchmann, Ph.D. with Illustrations by Steve Buchanan. This publication shares a close up look at this treasure of native bees. They provide an invaluable ecosystem service, pollination, to 80 percent of flowering plants. Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in this country.

Native bees are a hidden treasure, they can be found anywhere in North America, where flowers bloom. Native pollinators have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s altered landscapes, native pollinators continue to do the yeomen’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants. The world as we know it would not exist if there were no bees to pollinate the earth’s 250,000 flowering plants.

Some native bees and other pollinators are experiencing population declines and range reductions. Many of the same factors affecting honey bee health are also affecting native bee species health as well. A number of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private individuals are creating pollinator gardens throughout the country that will benefit native bees and other pollinators. Helping native bees is essential to our continued survival, health, and well-being. These animals benefit us all because of the invaluable ecosystem services they provide to the environment and to our farms, forests, and gardens.

Get involved, observe bees with close focusing binoculars; plant a small pollinator garden; or help a neighbor, student, or family member drill small holes in scrap lumber to create a bee house. Do your share to make sure this precious legacy continues. Click here to read the full publication. 

No comments: