Native Bee Network

Native Bee Network Research Collaboration


The research needed during the NBN Analysis phase can only occur through collaboration with land grant universities, state agricultural departments, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

To optimize program success, we aim to collaborate with at least one land grant university in each ecoregion. We expect to create excitement with scientific and agricultural professionals in early 2022 and begin field testing in 2023.

The NBN Analysis phase will answer the following questions for propagating the candidate bee species.

  • What are the dispersion ratios of each bee?Some bee species have a predisposition to fly away instead of nest where they emerged. Bees that disperse less are more valuable to during the Propagation phase of the Native Bee Network.

  • What time of year are the bees active?Bees emerge at different times of the year. Some emerge at the beginning of spring, some midway through spring, others deep into the summer.

  • What triggers each bee to emerge from their cocoon?Is it temperature, moisture, or time of year?

  • Do bees have a pollen preference?Some bees are specialists and only gather pollen from a few native plants. Other bees are generalists and gather pollen from any plant.

  • How can each bee be managed?In learning how to manage new bees, we must think of the bees first, and adapt our farming practices to their needs if increased food production is warranted.

  • What nest building material do bees prefer?Each bee species uses a different natural nest building material that they evolved to use. Some species use mud, leaves, chewed leaves, resin, sawdust, plant fuzz, and sometimes they mix materials.

  • What are bee’s flight/forage natural ranges?Entomologists and other researchers have found and identified bees across the globe. A bee might have been found at a location 50 years ago, but the species may be extinct or their natural range has changed. For the hole-nesting species, we hope to shed light on bee population data.

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