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Native Bees Need Homes 7/16/23

Bees are a diverse group and serve as critical pollinators, but their numbers are declining. Over 4000 species of native bees are found in North America, with 700 right here in San Diego. Native bees don’t live in hives, don’t swarm, and rarely sting unless squashed.

Welcome native bees and other pollinators into your garden by providing habitat, water, and flowering plants.

1. Native bees need a home. Two thirds live in nests underground, while others prefer hollow stems or twigs. Provide a home like the one shown here using a garden bucket and sticks and twigs. (Design and photo credit to Marion Otto)

2. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators get thirsty. Fill a shallow dish halfway with water, adding a few rocks to serve as a landing spot. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of insects coming for a drink.

3. Native plants such as Yarrow, Lilac, Lupine, Buckwheat, Palo Verde, and Penstemon provide food over a long bloom season.

4. Don’t use pesticides Native bees and other beneficial insects will do the work of pest control for you, if you allow your garden to become a functional ecosystem.

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