1421 OLD APEX ROAD, CARY, NC 27513

The "Other Bees"

Native Bees

The “Other Bees”

Native Bees

When we look at a flower bed, our eyes are often drawn to the larger bees, such as bumble bees, carpenter bees and honey bees.

Did you know there are many more bees in that flower bed than just those three bees?

There are:

  • Over 20,000 species of bees in the world
  • 4,000 in the U.S.
  • 500 in North Carolina
  • Up to 70 different species in a typical back yard in the Triangle


The honey bee was introduced to America in 1622, brought over from Europe by the first settlers. They coexist as can be seen above. Along with the honey bee, there is a green iridescent small carpenter bee. Native bees and homey bees coexist in the same garden.

To learn more about the bees in North Carolina, visit the NC State extension program online for An Identification Guide.

Mason Bees & Leaf Cutter Bees

Most native bees nest in the ground but there are two important bees that nest in cavities. Mason bees use mud to make individual nest cavities and seal the entrance to their nesting sites. Leaf cutter bees, on the other hand, use plant matter to build nest cavities and seal the entrances.

Mason bees are the fist to emerge in the spring, with leaf cutter bees emerging in early summer.

Since most native bees have a very limited range to gather pollen, they are more susceptible to habitat loss than honey bees. That’s where we humans can really help! First by setting up nest sites and also planting pollinator-friendly plants.

“Beekeeping” with native bees is essentially a no-hassle or very-low-maintenance hobby. Simply set up nest boxes and let nature take over. As in The Field of Dreams movie, “Build it and they will come.”

Beekeeping at GSCO

Garden Supply Company is your one-stop Beekeeping shop! Equip yourself with everything you need to manage the native and honey bees in your yard.

To learn more about setting up native bee nesting sites, visit Garden Supply Company in Cary, North Carolina and read the NC State extension online publication on how to Manage a Successful Bee Hotel.

Adopt a honey bee hive with our annual Host-a-Hive program and we’ll manage the bees for you!