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Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees

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By Eric Mader, Mace Vaughan, Matthew Shepherd, Scott Hoffman Black

Published: 2010

Updated: 2010



28 pages


This publication provides information and resources on how to plan for, protect and create habitat for native bees in agricultural settings. Creating and preserving native bee habitat is a good risk management strategy for farmers of specialty crops such as almonds, apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, pears, plums, squash, tomatoes and watermelons. Oil and biofuel crops requiring bee pollination include canola and sunflower. Even meat and dairy industries are dependent on bee pollination for the production of forage seed such as alfalfa and clover. In many cases, these native pollinators are, on a bee-for-bee basis, more efficient than honey bees.

Table of Contents

Case study: Gardens of Goodness Farm
Native bee biology
Native bee habitat
Native bees as crop pollinators
Assessing native bee habitat on farms
Pollinator-friendly farming
Providing alternative forage
Creating artificial nest sites
Common native bees
Case study: The alkali bee
Appendix 1: Plants to support native bees
Appendix 2: Additional resources

Note: Digital downloads are in full color. Printed, mailed copies are only available in black & white.


This page was last updated on: May 7, 2019