Befriending Native Bees

This is a follow-up on my recent post, Urban Bees & How to Help Them. Herewith are additional resources about native bees, bee-friendly gardening, and environmental practices that promote biodiversity.

Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees is a publication of the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA). The article provides a nice overview of native bee species, tips on how to encourage bees to prosper in your area, a list of forage plants favored by native bees, info on constructing bee nests like those shown below, and tons of additional resources.The rich list of links on the Alternative Pollinators webpage will lead you in a thousand worthwhile directions, from info on bumblebee ID to an article on butterfly intelligence as compared to that of bees. There's also a halfway decent list of international resources on this site. Vertebrae and non-vertebrae pollinators are included.

I fell madly in love with this Bumblebee ID card. Alas, the species of native bumblebee included are limited to those in and around Utah. But what a wonderful infographic! I hope this will be emulated by biologists in other places who want to make it easier for the mere mortals among us to identify our local bumblebees. I spent time trying to do this in upstate New York last summer, and believe me, it wasn't easy—those bees are fast and linger only briefly upon each blossom! It was fun trying to figure out who was who, though.

Last but not least, there's a recent article on bee-friendly gardening called "Creating Buzz" in Audubon Magazine.

Enjoy! And don't forget to thank a bee today.