WHAT ARE GROUND NESTING BEES?
Bee careful where you walk — there’s a universe of bees underfoot! Though you may think most bees live in hives like honey bees, 70% of the world’s 20,000 bee species actually live largely solitary lives and lay eggs in underground nests.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PROTECT GROUND DWELLING BEES?
While honey bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, native bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the world’s flowering plants. Countless ecosystems depend on their hard work, but pesticides, loss of habitat, and climate change are just some of the factors that threaten their survival around the world.
The Xerces Society posits that more than ¼ of North America’s 46 bumble bee species — all ground nesters — face some degree of extinction risk. In fact, in October of 2021, it was determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the American Bumble Bee could qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act because its population has dropped nearly 90%.
Is the American Bumble Bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) the next endangered species?
HOW IS THE BEE CONSERVANCY HELPING GROUND BEES?
Our 2022 campaign is called From the Ground Up, and is focused on education, action, and advocacy for our ground nesting friends. This is the first time TBC has launched a deep focus on protecting ground bees — and we’re so excited! Initiatives on our roadmap include building habitat, developing content, and exploring research and community partnerships that advance ground bee security.
If you’d like to support our work, you can make a donation, or read on for easy steps to help protect ground bees at home!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT GROUND NESTING BEES?
Lending a hand to ground-nesting bees is easier than you
think! Here are some easy ways you can help:
– Let autumn leaves lie until spring, as they provided much
needed cover to underground nests.
– Go mulch-free in an area of your yard, as the barrier prevents
bees from digging down into the soil.
– Support legislation that curbs harmful pesticides, such as this
petition for New York to ban some uses of neonicotinoids.
– Check out our guide on 10 Easy Ways to Save the Bees.
Calling all friends of
You too can help!