Attracting Native Pollinators

Attracting Native Pollinators
Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies

by Mader, Shepard, Vaughan, Black, and LeBuhn

This wonderful book is a way into the complex role of native bees and other insects in our world. The new scientists who are trying to make Nature’s complexity accessible to us clearly have a plan of action in mind. This is science with a purpose, understanding leading to action. Loaded with information, clearly presented and lavishly illustrated, I find the comparisons between different pollinators, their life cycles and pollination modes, to be helpful tools. Here are some of the differences in pollination between native bees and the honeybee, specifically the blue orchard bee.

They forage over a longer period of time during the day.
They visit flowers when too wet or cold for honeybees.
They have a shorter foraging range so bring pollen to same species it came from.
They manipulate the flower in ways so as make contact with both anther and stigma at almost every visit.

Isn’t it amazing that with 1600 species of native bees in California, most of us think all bees are the honeybee?