Today was a great day. I met with Greg Corman who is the owner of Gardening Insights. Greg is an eco-friendly landscaper here in Tucson, AZ. Today we met to talk about native bees. You can see why it was such a good day. Coffee, bees, ways to increase native bee populations…a few of my favorite topics. Greg has started building bee habitat sculptures which he sells for people to place in their gardens. As Greg’s website states, it’s Art meets Ecology in support of native pollinators. I was invited to his home to check out some of the sculptures and brainstorm more ways to help native bees. The sculptures were amazing. Some were very Zen, others were rustic, but very artsy AND VERY useful for those bees that may not have found nesting sites.
While looking at one of the sculptures (which had at least 150 nesting sites/holes), eight female leaf cutter bees were buzzing around searching for their nest. They didn’t care that I was there. They just buzzed and went about their business. Many of the holes were already filled and capped/covered with material to keep intruders out. Some holes were covered with soil, others with small rocks, sap, and plant resins…like the photos below.
The bee habitat sculptures attract those bees that build their nest in above ground cavities like twigs, abandoned beetle holes in trees or stumps, or any other place that they can find. Some of the bees that were buzzing around were a type of leaf cutter bee in the family Megachilidae. Here is one that is about to gather pollen from one of my cactus flowers.
I get excited when I hear about people helping out native bees and for that matter any pollinator. Again, they are very important for our livelihood, and their populations seem to be decreasing (my research also showed this), so please support them and help them out. You can build native bee condos, or buy sculptures like those that Greg creates if you would like to have beautiful art as part of you landscaping AND help the bees out at the same time. You can also plant a pollinator garden to give them food while they are out. Oh, and another point regarding the sculptures…they are made from 100% recycled material.
Way to go Greg!