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Center for Food Safety

NATIVE BEES & OUR FOOD

Native bees are essential to many of the foods we eat.

Native Bees & Our Food

December 17, 2014
Native Bees & Our Food

Even though they don’t always get the credit they deserve, native bees are essential to many of the foods we eat. Some crops, like apples, squash, cucumbers, peppers, and cherries are directly dependent on native bee pollination, while others such as carrots, onions, broccoli, and legume hay are indirectly dependent on them—meaning that they do not require pollination services but are grown from seeds that benefit from a little extra pollinator help. Many people are less familiar with native bees than they are with honey bees, but once you learn to recognizethese impressive species, you may find that they are among the busiest workers in the garden.

Unfortunately, despite their importance to our farms, gardens, and ecosystems, native bees—just like the honey bees—are in trouble because native bees are susceptible to many of the same threats as honey bees, including the indiscriminate use of bee-toxic pesticides and declining habitat due to growing industrial monocultures.

 

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