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Helping Native Bees Survive

6/4/2012 10:20:41 AM

With all the buzz about European honey bees declining rapidly, it's easy to forget hundreds of North American bee species need your help. They face threats such as a loss of native plants from which many obtain pollen. You can assist these useful insects by providing nesting sites.

Photo courtesy of manfredxy

Viewer Tip: A native bee home can be a block of non-chemically treated wood with holes drilled into it about two inches deep. Many native bees don't form colonies and a single hole provides a home. Varying the diameter of the holes attracts different species. Alternatively, tie a number of soda straws together. Hang either the block or the straws from a tree or other object about eight feet up. It's easiest to distinguish native from European honey bees by learning to recognize the latter: European honey bees are usually larger and dull orange with brown bands on their abdomens.

Learn more about benefits native bees offer and native plants used by native bees at www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=xerces_native (select your state on the right).

This information is provided by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Learn more at www.wildflower.org.

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