As honey bee populations decline (from pesticide and fungicide use, parasites, and a mix of other factors), scientists like entomologist Claudio Gratton are exploring the exciting idea of pollinating our plants and crops in an “alternative” way: native bees.

“There’s a lot of other pollinators out there,” explains Gratton. The 500 or 600 wild bee species that live in Wisconsin are only a fraction of the 4,000 native to the United States. But because they tend to be solitary, aren’t easily managed, and don’t produce honey, they’ve mostly flown under the radar.

In this video from KQED’s QUEST, learn about these native bee populations and how we can support them by planting pollinator-friendly gardens and championing farms that pollinate with native bee habitats.

Related watching: It’s Okay to Be Smart’s How Bees See the Invisible, and the incredible Hidden Beauty of Pollination.

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