Who we are . . .
Native Bee Conservancy is a Washington-based Non-Profit Corporation founded in 2011. It is designed to promote the conservation of wild pollinators through the preservation and enhancement of native bee habitat.
Our mission statement:
The mission of Native Bee Conservancy is to provide education about the vital role that pollinators play in the lives of mankind and in the health of the natural world. By expanding public awareness, we hope to increase the habitat available to pollinators and to improve conditions in those areas where pollinators currently struggle to survive.
Pollinators come in many forms, including bats, butterflies, birds, beetles, frogs, flies, and wasps, but it’s the bee that carries most of the load, accounting for about 80% of all crop pollination services worldwide.
When people think “bee” they are usually thinking of the non-native honey bee or sometimes of the highly visible bumble bee. But there are many other types of bee–about 20,000 species worldwide and over 4000 species in North America alone. Before the introduction of the honey bee by European colonists, these wild bees did all the pollinating needed by North American flowering plants.
But most of these native bees are tiny, unassuming, and not at all glamorous. They don’t produce large crops of honey, they don’t swarm in hordes across the countryside, and they seldom sting. So as habitat loss and degradation spread across the land, many bee species simply disappeared before they were ever identified or named. They were simply gone forever.
But now, as honey bees are subject to an ever increasing array of pathogens, predators, and parasites, many wonder who will pollinate our trees, flowers, and food crops if the honey bee can no longer be sustained. We at Native Bee Conservancy want to concentrate our efforts on the native bees, no matter how small or inconspicuous. While a magnificent butterfly with iridescent wings and a showy flutter may attract the attention of many, a tiny black bee nearly too small to see needs all the help she can get.
Oh yes, one more thing: If we can provide the healthy habitat needed for bees, all the other pollinators–including those gorgeous butterflies–will prosper as well. Caring for bees can be a win-win for the pollinator world.