Posts Tagged ‘native bees’

Entomologist answers all your bee questions

Photo of Randall Cass

“People don’t seem to know very much about native species of bees. They think honeybees are native, that all bees produce honey, that all bees live in hives.” Randall Cass, Iowa State University Extension entomologist for honeybees and native bees, will help overcome some common misunderstandings like these about bees during his Pollinator Week program…

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Native Bees: Gentle and buzz-worthy

Photo of calliopsis bee

The mining bees in the Andrenidae family are incredibly gentle bees. According to “Bees: An Identification and Native Plant Forage Guide” by Heather Holm, a park in Minneapolis is the home to thousands of Andrena nests each year, but most people have no idea that they are walking right over them. These bees are solitary…

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Native bees: These bees plastic-wrap their brood cells

Photo of colletes validus

Do you love blueberries? Then you should love the genus Colletes of native bees! These are one of several types of native bees that collect pollen from both highbush and lowbush blueberry flowers. Colletes validus has an elongated, narrow head that helps it fit into the tight flower opening where it eats nectar and collects pollen that will be transferred…

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Native bees: Mason bees are fantastic pollinators

Photo of a blue mason bee

Mason bees might be the best pollinators of all bees. Instead of wetting pollen and putting it in pollen sacs like honeybees, mason bees are covered in hair that collects pollen as they move around, searching for nectar. They can certainly carry a lot of pollen and significant pollinators for apple, cherry and plum trees. (Try…

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Native bees: The true sweat bees

Photo of a hover fly on a zinnia

We’ve all been outside drinking a pop at a picnic, when these little black-and-yellow creatures start flitting around and trying to get into the drink. “Sweat bees,” someone will say, shaking his or her head. “They’re so annoying.” Learning about bees as we put together the bee identification spinner for the new Pollinator Paradise addition,…

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Native bees: Exotic honeybees and their Apidae family

Photo of a long-horned bee

We’ve talked about the ways that native bees differ from honeybees (read that here) and how great of pollinators they are (read that here), but how do you identify native bees? There are seven known families of bees worldwide, and six live in North America: Andrenidae, Apidae, Colletidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae and Melittidae. The family Stenotritidae only…

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Honeybees are not native bees, surprised?

Photo of sweat bee

“I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear honeybees are not native to North or South America; we brought them here for honey production and to pollinate some of our plant species.” (Six ways honeybees differ from native bees) Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator for the Dickinson County Conservation Board, will talk…

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Six ways native bees differ from honeybees

Photo of a blue bee

People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has…

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Mason bees might be better pollinators than honeybees!

If you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all. Someone posted this about our osprey nest camera blowing down again this year. We feel kind of the same way. This poor camera has been blown down, hasn’t had enough sun, and when the camera did work last year the osprey chicks…

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