Bees #348070 - Ask Extension


Bees #348070

Asked July 29, 2016, 8:26 PM EDT

I planted a perennial called anise hyssop. It is covered with bees but not the little yellow striped ones I remember from years ago. These are much larger, half yellow and half black. Are these the ones we are supposed to be fostering?

Harford County Maryland

Expert Response

There are dozens of native bee species--all are beneficial. Most make excellent pollinators since they evolved here and have had to pollinate our plants for eons. 
Actually, honey bees (which are the species which has suffered the mass deaths) are not native and not the most efficient pollinators.  They were brought from Europe for the honey production initially.  So, the native bee species can fill in for the honeybees in our gardens, but the native bees, too, have been suffering from pesticides, etc.  
The bottom line is that anything you can do to help ANY pollinators is great!  Enjoy the variety of bee species.  It's fun to learn to identify different ones. 


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