We depend on honeybees and other pollinating insects to pollinate many of our fruit and vegetable crops. They also work their magic in natural systems, helping maintain species diversity and a healthy ecosystem. Providing our native bees and other pollinators with food sources and nesting sites helps to ensure adequate populations.
A few simple ways you can help
- maintain biodiverse natural areas with a variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants
- try to keep invasive plants out, otherwise they displace valuable native species
- plant a variety of flowering plants in your garden and landscape to serve as pollen and nectar sources from early spring through the fall
- minimize use of pesticides, carefully follow label directions and precautions, and avoid those toxic to bees and pollinators
- don't be too tidy. Leave hollow stems of your perennials and things like raspberries standing for solitary bees to use for raising their young. Other bees like old rodent nests in woodpiles, etc.
- if you lack natural nesting sites, you can put out bee blocks or build a bee hotel from recycled materials
- learn more about our native bees and pollinators. They are different from yellow jackets and wasps and generally do not sting or threaten humans.
Understanding Native Bees, the Great Pollinators: Enhancing Their Habitat in Maine (Scroll down for instructions on constructing nest boxes for bees.)