By Beatriz Moisset, Ph.D. and Stephen Buchmann, Ph.D and llustrations by Steve Buchanan.
A USDA Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership Publication.
Native bees are a hidden treasure. From alpine meadows in the national forests of the Rocky Mountains…bees can be found anywhere in North America where flowers bloom. From forests to farms, from cities to wildlands, there are 4,000 native bee species in the United States, from the tiny Perdita minima to large carpenter bees.
Most people do not realize that there were no honey bees in America before European settlers brought hives from Europe. Native pollinators, especially bees other than honey bees, have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, they continue to do the yeoman’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants.
The honey bee, remarkable as it is, does not know how to pollinate tomato or eggplant flowers. It does very poorly compared to native bees when pollinating many native plants, such as pumpkins, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries. (USDA)
Note: It is available from book stores also.