The Native Bee Network helps you find, identify, and raise your native wild hole-nesting bees. Our hope for this program is to gain more knowledge about native bees to improve and repopulate the overall local wild bee population.
Opening a Mason Bee Nest
Wild Bee Nesting Materials
Why are we running this program?
Your backyard, whether you know it or not, is meant to be a home to a variety of bees native to North America. We've learned that the best pollinating bees are local bees and they already live in their optimal environment - your backyard. While the honey bee is our bee of choice today, our sole reliance on this imported bee as an agricultural pollinator is risky and not sustainable. We’re learning that honey bees travel far and spread their diseases to wild native bees. We’re also understanding that solitary native bees pollinate significantly better than the honey bee.
North America is home to a huge diversity of 4,000 native bees and about 1,000 of these species nest in holes. What makes a hole-nesting bee valuable is our ability to move the bee from here to there, something you can’t do safely with the 3,000 ground-nesting bee species. Native bee populations are struggling due to competition with honeybees and loss of habitat for both flowers and nesting sites. Planting flowers and providing healthy nesting sites helps bees, but we have a lot to learn about how to take care of our native hole-nesting bees.
Our native bees have been scientifically named and cataloged but we have little knowledge about each bee’s characteristics. What size nesting hole do they prefer? When do they emerge from their cocoons? With what material do they plug their end cap? What pests and diseases affect them? These are practical questions for knowing how to raise native bees and with your help, we can find the answers and improve bee populations.
What You'll Do
Crown Bees is currently designing and building a Bee Finder page that will have a Steward Profile for you and Bee Badges for bees. Please be patient as we create these components. In the meantime, this is our vision of the vital work that you'll be doing when you participate.
- Keep an online journal of your nest site(s) cocoons so that you can track year to year
- Identify wild bees that move into your bee house
- Take and share photos of your wild bees and bee cocoons so that others can learn to identify their bees
- Describe key characteristics and observations about your wild bees, this information will help us all raise native bees
- Share what you're doing with family, friends and your local community.
The Future of Sustainable Agriculture
Crown Bees is dedicated to providing more food for the planet. Research already proves that native bees are better pollinators. A healthy portfolio of local native hole-nesting bees will ensure that we have the pollinators our yards and farmlands need.
Knowing how to care for our native hole-nesting bees will also benefit conservation lands as we provide healthy, well-managed nesting sites. Bee houses can provide a transitional habitat as young trees and shrubs grow.
All that is missing are the wild bees in sufficient numbers to reintroduce to our yards, natural lands, and farmlands. You are an important solution to this future. There are two times to plant a fruit tree; twenty years ago, and today. Start helping us find and raise native bees today.
What You Can Do Now
Start placing native bee houses and think forward to the project launch. Read the next section.
Sign up for BeeMail! We will discuss and announce the Native Bee Network as each component is built and ready for you to use.