Native Bees

Metallic sweat bee (Augochlora pura). Photo by Philip Moore. Credit: Sam Droege


      Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are but one species among thousands of different bees within the superfamily Apoidea. Honey bees are unique in their societal life cycle and storage of large food reserves; most bees are solitary, nest individually, and do not store surplus food. Honey bees are not native to America and were imported from Europe early on during colonization. Native bees have evolved with the existing flora and some have established intricate relationships with particular flowers. Conserving populations of native bees is important because they are valuable pollinators of many plant species, often performing pollination more effectively than honey bees.
      Understanding some of the characteristics of native bees will help foster a positive environment for all bees. Below are a few articles that will help explain a bit about native bees.