Bee Basics

bee illustration

I realized that I had posted about this new publication on Twitter, but not here–this must be remedied ASAP!
A beautiful publication was recently released by the USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership:

Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees
By Beatriz Moisset and Stephen Buchmann.

“The full-color 40 page booklet is jam-packed with information about how representative bees of 3,500 species inhabiting the US and bordering areas make a living, which flowers they visit, whether they nest underground or in hollow stems or wood. The diversity of bees is examined along with notes on their wasp ancestry. The lives of leafcutter, mason, bumble bees, miners and others is explored…. Tips for easy things gardeners, home owners and naturalists can do to protect and conserve bees and their flowers are given. “

It is about as nice an introduction to basic bee biology as you could ask for, with the bonus of beautiful artwork.  If you haven’t downloaded your free copy of the PDF, get with the clicking!!

Pollinator Week 2009: Homes for pollinators

Homebuggarden commented earlier this week:pollinator

“Has anyone come across a good source of information on providing nest support for alternative pollinators such as bumblebees, digger bees, and the like?”

Indeed, I have!  Xerces has an excellent PDF download, Nests for Native Bees.  There are also additional detailed instructions in their publication Farming for Bees (starting on page 25).

There is Michigan specific advice in a PDF here (and any day now I’ll get around to reviewing the  awesome paper those authors published in Ecology Frontiers….)  There is also a plant list for Michigan in this PDF publication.

You can find a list of all the excellent Xerces Society publications online here, downloadable free as PDFs!