As you were enjoying celebrations this July 4th weekend, you may have noticed many bees flying around your yard or neighborhood park, pollinating flowers and vegetables. As I earlier shared here on the Your Wild Life blog, I am researching many of these native bees in urban areas. Specifically, I am studying how temperature influences the native bee community in Raleigh. In some areas, I put up bundles of bamboo to sample which bees will nest there. Most bees are solitary, unlike honey bees or yellow jackets, so they are mild tempered. You can even put up bundles of bamboo in your yard to create bee homes, if you would like more bees pollinating in your yard!
In other urban areas and yards, I sample bees using bowls, vane traps, and sweep net methods. It’s very important to know who the pollinators are to be able to help them. My research aims to better understand what pollinators live and adapt to both urban areas and changing temperatures and how we can best help them.
There are over 4,000 species of native bees in America and 500 species in North Carolina! To learn more about these native bees and what plants can help attract them to your yard, I’ve created two brochures (in pdf form) for your enjoyment:
Thank you and have a bee-filled July!
Header photo: A native bee from North Carolina, Agapostemon virescens. This species pollinates many different plants, including asters, sunflowers, primrose, rose, mint, morning glories, and many legumes. Credit: Sam Droege, USGS.
April Hamblin is a graduate student at North Carolina State University in the Entomology Department in Dr. Steve Frank’s lab. For more information about April and her past work with native bees, please visit aprillhamblin.blogspot.com.