We hear a lot about honeybees now, with colony collapse posing a large, ominous threat to our agricultural industry and therefore populations, but often overlooked are the wonders and benefits of native bees. Native bees are incredibly diverse, with over 4,000 known species, they also display unique behaviors and biological quirks. Wildlife photographer, Clay Bolt, has been traversing the country documenting North America’s native bee populations and has been able to witness firsthand some of the fascinating, yet, little-known life history of native bees. Listed below are nine examples of extraordinary details discovered during Bolt’s cataloging journey, along with his gorgeous photos.
With all of the news and press about honey bee population decline, not 1 of the 4,000 native species of bees in listed federally as endangered, and so are not protected. The Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee enjoys protection by the Canadian Government, but so far, that is the only instance. Native and wild bees are responsible for far more pollination than cultivated honey bees and as so, are also critical to the success of the human population and wildlife.