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Heather Harvey, founder of the Indiana Pollinator Project, tells us about the formation of the project and how the project teaches about native bees at schools and farmer's marketsRead More
Helen Yoest, Director of non-profit Bee Better Inc, tells us the story of how becoming a mother inspired her to create a free, natural garden.Read More
Every year we celebrate mason bees with a mason bee cocoon Harvest Party held at our office and warehouse in Woodinville, WA. Everyone is welcome to attend, even if you've never raised mason bees before. Our goal is to teach why we advocate for the harvest of mason bee cocoons and how to harvest, wash, and store cocoons.Read More

Last winter I was looking into the possibility of starting a bee hive as a tool to pollinate my organic kitchen garden, when I was made aware of solitary bees and the role they play as the great pollinators of North America. Without the need for expensive equipment such as hives, protective clothing, honey-related appurtenances and the time commitment necessary to keep honey bees, providing a habitat for solitary bees seemed like an easier, less expensive and less time consuming alternative.

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Dr. Jim Cane of the USDA Agricultural Research Service has recently shared with us the following excerpt of his recent work with native bees that exclusively pollinate squash. An article by Science Daily also discusses the findings showing that squash-pollinating bees migrated with the spread of squash agriculture across North America.Read More

Highlighting Heroes: Jim Cane, PhD; Research Entomologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service

 

Dr. Cane has been interested in comparative studies of solitary bees for 30 years, beginning with the evolutionary origins and use of lipid exocrine secretions to attract mates, repel predators, supplement larval diets, and waterproof/disinfect their nests. Work with these bees naturally led to study of their pollination services in both wildland and agricultural settings. A bee species’ pollination value reflects its sustainable abundance, wherein habitat carrying capacity is capped by nesting opportunities and foraging success. Dr. Cane has applied his long-term interest in conservation to help measure, understand, and mitigate human factors that can shift nesting and foraging opportunities for bee communities, such as climate change, urban sprawl, habitat fragmentation, and rangeland rehabilitation.

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The following story was shared as part of our celebration of National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, 2016. We applaud the efforts of Beth Murphy, President, and Jennifer Fenderbosch, Vice-President of Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club for building solitary bee habitat throughout the City of Avon Lake, Ohio. Crown Bees hopes that their story inspires other communities to raise and support native bees.

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Highlighting Heroes:

Benjamin Vogt; Founder Monarch Gardens, Prairie Garden Consultation & Design

Monarch Gardens started with an obsession and a milkweed.

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Mason bees are wonderful additions to extension service programs. The programs can evaluate the efficiency of mason bees, learn and teach about mason bee life cycles, and make recommendations to farmers and gardeners about the ability of mason bees to pollinate in their region. Mason bees and honey bees can work together in farms and mason bees have been shown to actually improve the pollination behavior of honey bees.Read More
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