Much emphasis is often placed on European honeybees due to, well their overall amazingness, but also their important contribution to our food supply (as much as one in four bites of food). Honeybees are very cool and extremely important to humans, however so are native bees. Native bees are excellent pollinators of tree fruits, raspberries, squashes, melons, cucumbers and more!
One of the most important steps for protecting bees, whether honeybees or native bees, is to provide them good nutrition and plenty to eat! Quality pollen and nectar helps to promote healthy immune systems in bees and promotes important detoxification capabilities. In addition, pollinator gardens with abundant flowers can also reduce the exposure of bees to some pests and diseases. Joey Caputo, an entomologist with the Utah Department of Food and Agriculture (UDAF), made this great analogy; if someone is sick and there is only one door knob on the door to the office, the likelihood that they are going to expose others in their office to germs is extremely high. Say the door had 100 door knobs and everyone used a different one, the likelihood that germs would be passed onto someone else would be greatly reduced. Therefore, ‘bee a contributor’ to local bee populations with 2 easy steps:
Plant pollinator plants and,
Plant lots of them – you’ll be buzzed that you did!