This month, as we express our gratitude to the beings and systems that support our lives, we look at ways that we can give back. Much of the food that we depend on, comes from flowering plants that require pollination (think about tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, and almost all fruits). These flowering plants, in turn, depend on a variety of insects that actually perform the pollination. Although the honey bee is the most well-known of these creatures, she is just one of hundreds of life forms which help our food grow. In fact, California among the greatest diversity of bees in the world with over 1000 different species of native bees (check our this wonderful website from UC Berkeley on California bees). Many of these native bees have been suffering as their habitat is replaced with houses and farms, the plants they depend on for food are replaced with lawns and concrete, and their importance is forgotten. As we bring awareness back to our native bees, and remember their essential place in our landscapes, we should work to create habitat and grow food for them.
In this video, we show you how to create a Native “Bee Hotel,” a place for our native bees to lay their babies and make a home for themselves in our garden. Remember that providing bees a place to live is not enough. They must also have food to eat which comes from native flowering plants. We found this great list to help you with choosing those plants as well.