Native Bees-Squash Bees

Native squash bees pollinating a pumpkin blossom.  There are approx 4000 species of native bees in North America.  Many, if not most, of them better pollinators than the non native honey bee.  Our native bees tend to work earlier, later, and under adverse weather conditions more so than the beloved honey bee.  The advantage of honey bees in pollination is that they can be  transported from one location to another and in a timely fashion to pollinate the almond crop in California,  the citrus crop in Florida, and the northern/southern blueberry bushes.  Research suggests that honeybees pollinate crops more effectively when working alongside of native bees.  Pumpkins need pollinators, such as these native squash bees, who will visit each female blossom about 15 times in the few hours that it is open.  Pollination isn’t an option for some plants, it is a necessary and vital step in the production of fruit or vegetable.  Native bee populations, if they still exist in sufficient numbers, fulfill the role of pollination even today as they did a few hundred years ago, before the arrival of the honeybee.