Native pollinators, simply put, are the hyper-efficient indigenous creatures that transfer pollen from flower to flower, allowing the plants to propagate and flourish. Many people are aware that the world's pollinator populations are crashing at a record pace, but not many people know that there are over 4500 native species in the United States alone that make pollination possible. All these species are at risk from harmful agricultural practices, habitat degradation, and parasites. Here at BeeFoster, we are doing our part by focusing on two main categories of pollinators: mason bees and leaf cutter bees.
Why do we care?
Pollinators are essential for a functioning ecosystem. 50% of native pollinator species are in decline in the United States. Unlike honeybees, native pollinators (or "solitary bees") don't live in a large hive but rather make their homes in small tubes. In nature, these are found in reeds, canes, and tree trunks. BeeFoster products simulate this with appropriately-sized paper tubes nested in a safe, dry case.
Here you can see some of the mud-filled tubes that indicate native bee activity.
Did you know?
Honeybees are not native to the United States. Even though they are amazing pollinators, there are many plants that need specialized, native insects such as mason bees or leaf cutter bees to pollinate them. These include blueberries, apples, alfalfa, and pumpkins, among many others.