Bee Informed: Sustainability, Alternative Pollinators, and Resilience Gardens

Bee Informed: Sustainability, Alternative Pollinators, and Resilience Gardens

Photo Credit: Leafcutter Bee, Megachile rotundata. Photo by USGS Bee Inventory,

Each month our Bee Informed Blog will highlight current news, science, and research related to solitary bee conservation, food insecurity, and sustainability.

1. Why bees are critical for achieving sustainable development. 

This article, published in Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment, explores the contributions of bees towards achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better more sustainable future for all people on the planet. The article shows the crucial role bees play in meeting the SDGs through providing: 1) quantity and quality of food, 2) nutrition and medicine, 3) inclusive communities, 4) biofuels, 5) forest conservation and regrowth, 6) healthy and diverse ecosystems, 7) economic opportunities, and 8) innovation and inspiration. Click here to read the article. 

Sustainable Development Goals

Image Credit: United Nations Department of Global Communications

2. Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees

This publication, by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, provides information and resources on how to plan for, protect and create habitat for native bees in agricultural settings. Creating and preserving native bee habitat benefits farmers of specialty crops such as almonds, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pears, plums, squash, tomatoes, and watermelons. But, it is not just the crops WE eat that depend on native pollinators. Oil and biofuel crops such as canola and sunflower require bee pollination. Even meat and dairy industries are dependent on bee pollination for the production of forage seed such as alfalfa and clover. Often, these native pollinators are more efficient than honey bees! Click here to access the publication. 

Farm Planting

Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash

3. How planting a garden can boost bees, local food, and resilience during a crisis.

This opinion piece - written by Sheila Colla, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at York University - discusses the benefits of planting "resilience gardens" to help mitigate food security issues related to crises. These types of gardens can support native biodiversity and pollinators, provide mental health benefits, and provide local fruits and vegetables to food-insecure areas. Click here to read the entire Op-ed. 

Community Garden TomatoesPhoto by Elaine Casap on Unsplash