What kinds of bees live in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has over 400 species of native bees. Unlike imported honeybees, they rarely sting. This is because our native bees lead mostly solitary lives. Not having a colony to defend, they have no interest in attacking anyone.

Instead, the bees peacefully visit flowers, pollinating them as they eat the nectar. Females then seek out a nesting site, where they lay their eggs, providing each one with a store of pollen for the larva to eat when it hatches.

Different types of bees use different types of nesting sites. Like birds, some will use artificial “bee houses”. This website has information on how to provide nesting sites for different types of bees.

Many types of native bees will happily live in a suburban yard, finding food in dandelions and clover. Pesticides, even those not targeted to bees, often hurt them. While mowing doesn’t hurt bees directly, it can leave them without a food source. Studies show that when suburban lawns are maintained with pollinator-friendly practices, they can support just as many species of bees as rural areas.

What kinds of bees live in Wisconsin?

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