Did you know that there are lots of small so-called native bees in this country? These are ones that have lived in North America for hundreds of years.
- Some people call these bees "super pollinators." That's because they can often pollinate specific crops much more easily than honey bees (non-native bees that were brought here from Europe centuries ago).
- For instance, in a small apple orchard, 250 females of a kind of native bee called the blue orchard bee can do the work of 35,000 honey bees.
- As you may know, honey bees in this country are dying off.
- Tiny bugs called mites are killing them.
- So farmers who have relied on honey bees to pollinate their crops are turning more and more to native bees.
- The good news is: native bees seem pretty tough and aren't being harmed by the tiny bugs that are killing off the honey bees.
- Now native bees are helping farmers in this country earn lots of money each year—in fact, billions of dollars worth from sales of bee-pollinated crops.
No wonder they're called super pollinators!
Learn how to make a bee house!
Bee illustration by Danielle Jones