I would like this thread to be about the bees, but not honey bees, or bees that live in families. This will be about the world solitary bees and how they benefit us. Hopefully lots of hands on information to create natural habitat for them on your farm.
This was my first introduction into why native bees are so much better pollinators than honey bees.
At first, I assumed she was a honey bee, as she was busy stuffing pollen into the pollen sacs on her legs. But then she started rolling around in the flower like a donkey in a sand-pit, scattering golden pollen dust all over the place, including the red spots on the flower, and emerged looking like someone had sprayed glitter dust all over her. From the plant's point of view this is much, much better as they want their pollen to be transferred to the next flower, not stuffed neatly into pollen sacs to be used as bee food!
Here's another one, a big fluffy silver one, on the side of a phacelia flower. I've no idea what species these are though.
John - that booklet is fantastic! Well worth downloading.
I have a whole bunch of different native bees that visit, most of whom I can't identify and some of which I suspect aren't bees. But pound per pound, carpenter and bumble bees do the most pollinating. I have honey bees, too, but they only show up when there's something really prime and lots of it. The other bees work whatever is there. Sometimes my squash blossoms look like a mosh pit in the morning when they are stacked deep with bees.
I never have any aggression problems with the native bees, and it makes me angry that any time I try to google something about bees the links are always "how to kill bees."
The first person to drink cow's milk. That started off as a dare from this tiny ad:
Permaculture Voices 1, 2 and 3 - all 117 hours of video!