Native Pollinator Bees
|Photo courtesy of Crown Bees|
Picture this: A native mason bee diving into a flower with abandon covering its undersides with dry pollen before buzzing to the next pollen-laden flower. Contrast that image with the non-native fastidious honey bee that carefully wets the pollen and carries it tidily on its legs. The “dive with abandon” method makes for a better pollinator. According to Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees, a Woodenville, Wash. company, “Roughly one foraging female mason bee is equivalent to one hundred foraging honey bees.” Honey bees serve different roles in the hive; some gather pollen while others gather nectar. The result is that not every flower visited by a honey bee is pollinated. Mason bees, on the other hand, collect both pollen and nectar, pollinating almost all flowers they visit.