Arborists, Tree Care

Native Bees

native tree bees in abq new mexico

Native Bees

Did you know there are about 1,000 species of bees that are found across New Mexico?  They are great pollinators and often go unnoticed in the environment while going about their business of providing plants with a critical service.  Most of them are not aggressive and rarely, if ever, sting people.

A short list of locally common native bees includes ground-nesting bees (often seen around playgrounds, zipping low over the ground), mason bees, orchard bees, digger bees, leaf-cutter bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees and sweat bees.  Mind you – in each of these groups are several or many species!

Some are large, like the bigger species of carpenter and bumble bees, the former sporting a smooth, shiny black body while the latter is all fuzzy.  Some are small, like the many colorful sweat bees that can be annoying as they buzz us, seeking salt in our sweat.  Many are active early in the year and early in the day before honeybees are at work.

Most species are not social like honeybees, but solitary.  Many nest in the ground, while others like holes in wood or hollow plant stems.  We can add elements to our landscapes to support these native insects, from nesting sites to pollen and nectar sources to open water from them to drink. 

NMSU has a great publication called “Pocket Guide to the Native Bees of New Mexico”, which can be found online. Learn more about how you can support native bees and other wildlife from the ABQ Backyard Refuge Program sponsored by the Friends of Valle de Oro.

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