Wild Bees Can Help Honey Bees—How Your Yard Can Support Them

Although farmers have come to rely on imported honey bees, wild pollinators are hardier.


Published:

There are 4,000 native bee species in North America and they support natural ecosystems by keeping a healthy diversity among pollinators.

© Brad Huchteman, Unsplash

 

By now we’ve all heard that domesticated honeybee populations continue to decline, endangering our food systems. Although farmers have come to rely on imported species of domesticated honeybees, hardier wild bees do some of the work, too. There are 4,000 native bee species in North America. They support natural ecosystems by keeping a healthy diversity among pollinators. But even they are facing threats. Here’s how to be a backyard beekeeper for wild bees.

Regions Most At Risk For Native Bee Loss

Including native plants in your garden and yard will help provide habitat and sustenance for bees year round. By researching which native plants are most helpful to bees, you can plan a garden that is beneficial to their seasonal needs.

REGION 1

Local Species:
Miner Bees

Active Season:
June–July

Select Plant Food:
Mariposa Lily

Status:
Rare, Uncertain

Nesting:
Underground

 

REGION 2

Local Species:
Western Bumble Bee

Active Season:
April–September

Select Plant Food:
Rubber Rabbit Brush

Status:
Rare, In decline

Nesting:
Cavities

 

REGION 3

Local Species:
Sonoran Bumble Bee

Active Season:
June, September–October

Select Plant Food:
Goldeneye

Status:
Uncommon

Nesting:
Cavities

 

REGION 4

Local Species:
Eastern Carpenter Bee

Active Season:
April–October

Select Plant Food:
Lupine

Status:
Secure

Nesting:
Wood

 

REGION 5

Local Species:
Bicolored Sweat Bee

Active Season:
April–October

Select Plant Food:
Sunflower

Status:
Secure

Nesting:
Underground

Don’t Forget:

Create sites for nesting

Seventy percent of native bee species nest in the ground. Clear patches of bare ground or create small sand pits for bees to nest in. Other species of bees nest in the beetle-bored cavities of dead wood. Leave pieces of dry wood in sunny places and drill small holes if there are no existing cavities.

Avoid pesticides

Most insecticides and some fungicides and herbicides are harmful or lethal to bees. Be careful when purchasing seeds and bulbs. Many are grown with systemic pesticides called neonicotinoids, which will remain in the pollen of the plant and harms all bees.

Lori Panico wrote and illustrated this article for The Sanctuary Issue, the Summer 2017 issue of YES! Magazine. Lori is a multimedia intern at YES!

This article was republished from YES! Magazine.

See also:
Chefs Speak Out: No Bees, No Food
FDA Stops Testing For Glyphosate As New Report Finds High Levels Are Found In Food

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Daily Astrology

February 19, 2018

Fittingly for President’s Day, the Moon is in Aries, a sign of leadership. A late morning lunar trine to Mars lifts the spirits of parade goers and marchers alike. It also provides plenty of energy for athletes and exercise buffs…
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February 2018

Spend a cozy winter weekend with colleagues diving into the rich material contained within the Dàodéjīng. While each class builds upon the material covered in the previous...

Cost: $325

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
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Sponsor: Eastern Medicinal Therapies Education Center
Telephone: 617-435-3586
Contact Name: Lauren Paap
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Great readings at a great rate - only $20 for 15 minutes. Join us for a great day with lots of specials too! Our web site is not currently able to take registrations for the psychic fair. Please...

Cost: $20 for a 15 minute reading

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Join us for an afternoon of messages from your loved ones on the other side. As an empath and a healer, I am able to connect with random loved ones on the other side and connect them with the right...

Cost: $30 in advance/$35 day of show

Where:
Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
9 Ayer Road
On The Common
Harvard, MA  01451
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Sponsor: Wachusett Music Series
Telephone: 978-365-2043
Contact Name: Jean or Denise
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February 18 - 23, 2018 With Rev. Michelle Renee Pelletier, founding director of the Center for Psychic Healing, Harwich, MA.

Where:
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
Calistoga, CA


Sponsor: Center for Psychic Healing
Telephone: 707-849-7793
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Are you curious about yoga but don't know where to begin? The Intro to Yoga Series is a great place to start your practice. This series will provide a safe, non-competitive and welcoming...

Cost: $90 for series

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut St, Suite A
Exeter, NH  03833
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Telephone: 603-969-8968
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Cost: $11-$15 per class

Where:
Chelmsford Wellness Center
3 Littleton Road, 2nd Floor
Westford, MA  01886
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Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
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A guided tour in discovering, confirming and verifying your personality, behaviors and habits. A three part series at the Waltham Public Library Monday, February 5 7:15PM Monday, February 12...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
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Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
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February 20 - 22, 2017 Three day training including new techniques for advanced Reiki training, Reiki master training, and Holy Fire II upgrade. Includes discussion, demonstrations, practice...

Cost: $1025 ppd.

Where:
Women of Wisdom
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
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Experience the power of singing gospel music with more than 250 others as part of the Mystic Chorale, led by award-winning director and composer, Jonathan Singleton. Join Mystic as we prepare...

Cost: $105

Where:
First Parish Unitarian
630 Mass Ave.
Arlington , MA
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Sponsor: The Mystic Chorale
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria
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Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
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Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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6 Week Series with Sherri Snyder-Roche Start your year with greater awareness. In Kundalini Yoga, we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the...

Cost: $90

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
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Telephone: 508-278-2818
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Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Romy Valdez There are few instruments like the Gong that can heal us through its purification properties of sound vibrations. In this energy field, the beginnings of removing all blocks can...

Cost: $30 early bird ($35 at the door)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
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Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
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