Native Bees

Above, a bumble bee on a late-blooming dandelion, October 22, 2017

Say the word “bee” and most of us think “honey bees,” but this ignores the fact that honey bees are not native to the Americas. Honey bees were brought here by early European settlers. There are over 4,000 species of native bees, which play an essential role in pollinating flowering plants and native crops such as tomatoes and eggplants. I read this introduction to Native Bees for the 53rd volume of the nonfiction collection.  The selection is from a USDA-Forest Service publication Bee Basics, An Introduction to Our Native Bees 

Late this October (2017), in our local forest preserve, I encountered a variety of native bees attracted to the scarce, late-blooming dandelions. Nothing much else was in flower, and the various bees were sharing the single blossoms amicably, much to my amazement. The bees were also too busy to notice me with my cell phone. Here are a few of my pictures.

A bumble bee and a sweat bee on a single dandelion

October 22, 2017, A bumble bee & a sweat bee sharing a dandelion.

Bee with pollen on abdomen

On the right–The Megachilid bee collecting pollen on its abdomen!


Two sweat bees

One green, one yellow striped sweat bee

Leaf cutter bee

Tiny Megachilid bee (at bottom) and two sweat bees


A Sweat bee landing

The beauty of wings, October 22, 2017


Here’s a book you might like: Spiders, by Cecil Warburton

If you enjoy true-life adventures in the natural world, you might enjoy these books:

Across the Pampas and Among the Andes

The White Heart of Mojave

If  you’re looking for a short listen, why not try one of these topics?

From Rose Petals to Rose Oil

Lichen Dyes