Native Bee Network
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Science and field observations show that bees carry pollen differently resulting in differences in pollination effectiveness.
A more effective animal pollinator creates a higher pollen exchange which results in higher seed set and more food produced. As our planet’s population continues to grow, a more efficient agricultural yield is vital.
A honey bee hive requires large amounts of pollen to support the 1,000 or more new eggs laid daily by the queen. As a result, the industrious social honey bee developed a means to carry pollen back to the hive sticky on their hind legs. Unfortunately, sticky pollen does not exchange easily at each flower visit and honey bees have a lower pollination effectiveness.
Solitary bees must work alone to raise their own young and working alone requires efficiency. To save time, solitary bees forage for pollen and nectar near their nests and they leave pollen dry on their bodies. Dry and loose pollen falls off with each flower visit and solitary bees are more effective pollinators.
An added benefit of our NBN program is the opportunity to find and learn more about raising solitary hole-nesting wasps, who are beneficial insects that prey on agricultural pests. Raising and supporting beneficial wasps with nesting habitats is a natural fit for integrated pest management (IPM) programs that reduce the use of chemical pesticides.