Wisconsin Native Bees — Welcome!

Wisconsin Native Bees provides a resource for native been identification, images and detailed profiles. That buzz you hear in the garden are native bees pollinating our Wisconsin flowers and plants. About 60% of all the food you place on your table is the result of pollination.

. . . A word about honey bees -

Although the Honey Bee is not native to North America, we have included this species in this section because the Honey Bee has become naturalized throughout North America and is commonly found in our Wisconsin gardens.

  Plant to attract bees. Use local native plants. Research shows native plants are four times more attractive to native bees and butterflies than exotics. In gardens, heirloom varieties of herbs and perennials also provide good foraging.

  Choose flowers of several colors and differing heights. Native bees are particularly attracted to blue, purple, violet, white and yellow blooms. Plant flowers in clumps. Clusters of flowers attract more pollinators than individual blossoms. Clumps four feet or more in diameter are particularly attractive to bees.

  Build to attract a buzz. About 70 percent of our Wisconsin bees live in the ground in old tunnels, snags or similar locations, but they will adapt to manmade structures or enhanced nesting spots if the site is a comfortable fit.

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There are several native species of bees to be aware of. Proper identification of bees is important because you could be confusing a native bee with other insect species. Native bees are essential to the environment. If you see an insect that appears to be a bee that is of concern, please consult an expert before trying to get rid of them.

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Try The Honeybee Quiz

Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about honey bee anatomy. Honey Bees play an important role in pollination. Give the quiz a try!

Leafcutter bee with cut leaf returning to nest.

How Native Bees Nest

There is a great diversity of nest building behavior in Wisconsin's native bees. Native bee's preferred nesting site may be it an aerial cavity or a burrow underneath the ground.

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Garden Plan For Bees

This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly attractive to native bees and honey bees.

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