Nature In The Natural State: Bees

Jun 23, 2020

The honeybee, Apis millifera, is the Arkansas state insect. But the honeybee is not a native bee—it was brought to the United States by Europeans after 1600.

On the other hand, there are at least six species of bumblebees native to Arkansas. They nest either underground in deserted rodent burrows, on the surface in thick grass, or in holes in trees. Bumblebee colonies typically only last one year.

Bumblebees are not normally aggressive and usually only sting if they are harmed or are defending their nest. Bumblebees are threatened by habitat loss, climate change, and pesticide use.

What can you do? Plant pollen- and nectar-rich plants, provide habitat, and don’t use pesticides. For more information, visit xerces.org.