Our Native Bees
March 8, 2019 2:12 PM - by Paige Embry - Subscribe

Honey bees get all the press, but the fascinating story of North America’s native bees—several endangered species essential to our ecosystems and food supplies—is just as crucial. Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture.

This is a fascinating and fully illustrated book on the importance of North America's native bee population. I was drawn to this book last summer when I noticed how few honey bees I was seeing in my garden, but how many bumble and sweat bees I did see. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in gardening or bees in general. The full color photos are incredible and really highlight how diverse a group of animals the bees truly are. To quote the book: "The world has 20,000 species of bees spread over 9 families. To toss them all together and assume that they will looks the same or act the same or evolve the same way is a bit like expecting a grizzly bear to be like a seal... taxonomically speaking, a grizzly bear and a seal are as closely related as two bee species from different families."
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (2 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I should probably do a review comment. This book is on the light side, it's like half photographs and if you want to read it, which I recommend I'd check it out from a library TBH. I bought it for two reasons, 1) I had a gift card to the bookstore so it was technically free, and 2) High definition photographs of fuzzy bee faces and thoraxes makes me a happy neanderthal. But it really has a fair amount of information for a light read, and if you do any sort of vegetable or flower gardening, or if you care where your food comes from it's a really good read on how we pay attention to European honey bees perhaps to the detriment of our native bees which are honestly better pollinators anyways. You'll never look at a bumble bee the same way again.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:48 PM on March 9, 2019

I'm in Tucson, AZ right now, which is full of (native) bees! It's a delight to watch them buzz about the spring flowers.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:13 PM on March 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

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