Fun facts about native bees

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  • Native bees need more pollen than nectar, as pollen is rich in protein and able to be stockpiled for larvae to eat as they overwinter, unlike honeybees who scavenge for nectar to stockpile into honey (which never goes bad!)
  • Honey is the one food product we humans use that insects produce. Honeybees, as a result, are actually pretty lazy pollinators. They’ll rob nectar from flowers if the pollen is too hard to get to. They often do this with very long tubed flowers
  • Blueberries (a native plant) are primarily pollinated by bumblebees (native bees) who grab onto the flowers from below and vibrate their wing muscles to blast pollen out of the narrow opening and onto their fuzzy bellies
  • Sweat bees, though small, are often the most prolific and abundant pollinators in the garden. They are often mistaken for gnats or small flies because they are small and tend to be attracted to—you guessed it—our sweat! They live solitary lives, but often nest together in large communities, preferring alkaline soils to make their burrows in.

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