Bees are vital to the American food system. Honey bees alone contribute more than $15 billion to the American economy through pollination of plants that produce fruits, nuts and vegetables.
But there has been a significant loss of pollinators over the past few decades due to pesticide prevalence, loss of habitat, and exposure to monoculture crops. The White House recently responded to the growing concerns with a new strategy plan. While much of the national attention has focused on honey bee decline, a new exhibit at the North Carolina Botanical Garden explores the health and significance of the many native bee species in North Carolina.
“Bee-Hold the Humble Pollinator” highlights the more than 500 bee species in North Carolina and looks at efforts to save them. The exhibit is one part of a four-month series of programming called “Saving our Pollinators.”
Host Frank Stasio talks to entomologist Elsa Youngsteadt and botanist and exhibit coordinator Anne Lindsey.
Here are some resources to learn more about native bees and how you can get involved in improving their health:
- Pollinator Conservation Guide
- Bee Basics, An Introduction to Our Native Bees
- The Pollintaor Partnership
- The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
Citizen Science resources: