Save the Bees! How You Can Help Protect Our Native Bumblebees From Extinction

By Linda Lombardi, Vet Street

These days, you hear a lot about the plight of honeybees and how crucial they are to the food we eat. What you don’t often hear is that honeybees are actually latecomers to this continent — they were introduced by European settlers. And flowers and fruits got along fine before they arrived, because there were native bees.

“We have around 4,000 species of native bees in North America,” says Rich Hatfield, conservation biologist with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “They’ve been maintaining the flora diversity of North America for thousands to millions of years, and they’re essential to continuing that.”