Solitary Bee Blog
It's important to us to help keep Washington's water and air clean and to run our business in a way that protects the environment we all share.
Of the 20,000+ bee species on Earth, only about a dozen are used by farmers in commercial agriculture, and these crucial populations of managed bees have been declining at an alarming rate. Several factors, including increased use of pesticides, habitat fragmentation, emerging diseases, and reduced genetic diversity may be responsible for such bee losses. In response to this pollinator crisis, recent conservation efforts have led to stricter regulations on insecticide use. However, other agrochemicals such as herbicides and fungicides that do not directly target insects (such as bees) continue to be applied to in-bloom crops without much scrutiny. Curiously, past research shows that while certain fungicides may pose a lower risk for adult honey bees, they appear to be quite harmful to larval bees. Such findings were somewhat unexpected, and we at the Steffan lab wanted to find out why.
Dr. Jason Graham is the lead researcher developing conservation for the endangered Hawaiian yellow-faced bees in the Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences Department at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Seven species of Hawaii's yellow-faced bees were placed on the endangered species list in October 2016, these are the first species of bees to be protected and labeled as endangered.
Seattle's most unique P-Patch, UpGarden is a community garden at the top of the Mercer St parking garage at the Seattle Center. Learn why bee diversity is vital to a rooftop garden.
Raising spring mason bees is a growing trend among backyards across the country. Recently, local news station King 5 visited Crown Bees headquarters to learn about mason bees and how they are a part of a novel garden farm to table movement.