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Until recently, wild bees didn’t get the respect they deserved. They were overlooked for the honeybee, their more popular and recognizable cousins.
Thanks to cutting edge conservation science, however, that’s all starting to change.
Here’s a fact to tell your friends: wild, free ranging bees residing in natural open spaces are pollinating upwards of 39% of our crops in California. Ready for another mindbender? These wild bees contribute the equivalent of up to $2.4 billion a year to the state’s agricultural economy!
Wow! Wait, what? Really?
Go ahead, you might need to read that last paragraph again. It changes your perspective on wild bees, right? It sure changed mine. I never knew how much farms needed wild bees. I always assumed that European honeybees were the ones doing the heavy lifting. Think again!
There are a lot of other reasons to be thankful for wild bees – tomatoes, for example. Honeybees, don’t know how to pollinate tomato or eggplant flowers. And they’re terrible when pollinating pumpkins, cherries, blueberries and cranberries.
What would the world be like without these wild bees? Without tomatoes? Can you imagine?
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 75,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.