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Bee-yond Grateful for Native Bees

Did you know there are over 800 species of native bees in Canada?

Native bees come in various colours, shapes, and sizes. They range from tiny sweat bees, to vibrant green metallic bees, and to the larger bumblebees. There are over 800 species of native bees in Canada and an estimated 300-350 species of bees in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

Most of our native bees rarely sting! The majority of our native bee species, with the exception of bumblebees, are solitary or semi-social. This means they do not form large colonies with a division of labor like honey bees, which are native to Europe. Solitary bees do not have large colonies to defend and therefore have less reason to sting.

Native bees are also huge contributors to our food industry. They don’t produce honey in large quantities like honey bees, however, they are fantastic pollinators. Approximately one-third of the world's food production depends on pollination by bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other pollinating animals. Native bees are the most common pollinators in Canada and have been estimated to contribute nearly 1.2 billion dollars/year to the value of Canadian crop yields through their pollination services.


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