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Native bees and their food sources

Bees native to CNY evolved with the native plants that once graced the landscape. If you want to help support dwindling populations of native bees it is optimal to use locally sourced native plant seeds and plants grown from locally sourced native seed.

If a local source is unavailable look for stock or seed in our broader geographic region (the Northeast states). "Do not be lured by horticultural cultivars with double flowers, odd colors, or colored leaves. These cultivars have been selected for reasons other than to provide nectar and pollen to bees." (Cornell Botanic Gardens). A great read:

Creating a Pollinator Garden for Specialist Bees_FINAL_062520 (2)
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Essential sources of nutrition are often bred out of the cultivar when breeders are favoring aesthetic qualities. Studies reveal that cultivars "nativars" of native species can have less nectar sugar and less pollen or poorer quality pollen than the straight native species. And, cultivars can attract non native bees that compete for resources with our native bees.

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