Unfortunately, it seems like our civilization has declared war on native bees.
Over-development, habitat destruction, and diminishing plant diversity have all negatively impacted our native bee populations.
And, this is occurring during a period when we really need our native bees more than ever before.
The good news is there are things you can do to help the native bees, especially if you are a homeowner or gardener.
1. Plant many different flowering plants that will produce blooms from the earliest part of spring to the later part of fall. Native bees will not wait until your plants bloom.
Even if you don't have a yard, you can easily grow flowering plants in a window planter box or in pots on a small patio.
Some easy plants to grow are marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias.
2. Keep some sunny parts of your yard totally free of vegetation.
Some native bees actually build their nests in the ground and they need loose soil that doesn't have any weeds or plants. Leave some areas clear so they can easily burrow to make their nest.
3. Buy locally grown produce that is organic when it's possible.
Agricultural chemicals are very harmful to bees. Several kinds of pesticides are now killing our native bee populations.
4. Cut down or quit using strong fertilizers and herbicides in your yard or garden.
As an alternative, use organic or natural alternatives every time you can. Try using lemon juice because it has proven to be a very effective fertilizer because it contains vitamin C.
5. Set up some bumblebee boxes.
You can buy these from most garden supply stores or you can build your own. Clay pots that have been filled up with dry grass work very well for some bumblebee species. Other species build their nests in trees.
Fill up some small bird houses with dry grass to make a nest for them.
6. Become a member of a conservation group in your area. Volunteer for projects that restore or protect natural habitats because this is a great way to help the native bee.
Bees are a very important part of our ecosystem and they are helped when we conserve their natural habitats.
7. Buy local honey because this will support your local beekeepers, and also help the native bee.
8. Mow your lawn less often.
Bees really like to spend time on your lawn, especially on sunny days. Many weeds are good food sources because they have pollen and nectar.
Just be careful because all kinds of bees will be attracted to your lawn.
Mowing can also kill bees so make sure they aren't around when you mow.
9. Mix together a combination of water and garden soil in a small dish so it forms a thick mud.
Then put the dish in a quiet area of your yard or garden. Mason bees use mud to build their nests.
10. Keep some weeds in your yard for the bees.
Bees usually don't discriminate between your weeds and prized perennials. Besides, weeds are just wildflowers. Bees really like clover, so avoid using weed killer when you see clover in your yard.
Now that you have read some of the ways to help the native bee, you can see that it doesn't take a lot of effort to help them.
Don't forget that when you plant different kinds of flowering plants in your yard, you will be helping native bees by providing them a variety of food sources.
Donate to your local Beekeeping Association, donate to a Local Apiary!