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Native Solitary Bees

Ground and cavity nesters, native bees are highly efficient pollinators that are not aggressive and rarely sting since they have no hive, honey, or queen to protect. Native bees pollinate our local wild flowers, shrubs, and trees, as well as edible plants, fruits, and vegetables from backyard gardens to full scale farms.

 

Bee Houses as Public Art

Native solitary bees do not make hives or produce honey. The photos  here show public art bee houses installed around the country in a wide variety of sizes & shapes from the small backyard style to those that function as community focal points.

 

Construction of native solitary bee hotels has increased across the country in an effort to save these less well-known bees, increase bio-diversity, and support local ecosystems. There are over a thousand wild, native bee species in New Mexico, comprising nearly 25% of native bee populations in the United States. As a key region for supporting US native bee populations, New Mexico plays an important role in this growing national movement. Santa Fe recently joined Albuquerque in the “Bee City, USA Program,” affiliating with others across the country to restore and protect native solitary bees and other pollinators. There is an opportunity for Poetry Pollinators on the Santa Fe River to serve as a valuable participant and model for the stepping-stone approach to pollinator habitat expansion in highly urbanized environments where co-mingling cultural and environmental goals brings greater success and sustainability to both.

 

Locally, public art bee houses can be seen in the Santa Fe Railyard Park, at the Randall Davey Audubon Center, and at the Open Space Visitors’ Center in Albuquerque. All are beautiful, low-maintenance, sculptural structures that are built to provide nesting habitat for a variety of native bee species.

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Bee hotel sculptures from around the world

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