Honey bees get all the press, but the fascinating story of North America’s native bees—an endangered species essential to our ecosystems and food supplies—is just as crucial. Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture. The people and stories are compelling: Paige Embry goes on a bee hunt with the world expert on the likely extinct Franklin’s bumble bee, raises blue orchard bees in her refrigerator, and learns about an organization that turns the out-of-play areas in golf courses into pollinator habitats. Our Native Bees is a fascinating, must-read for fans of natural history and science and anyone curious about bees.
Paige Embry has spent her adult life involved in science and nature. She studied geology at Duke University and the University of Montana and worked as an environmental consultant in Boston and Seattle. After moving to the Pacific Northwest, she took up gardening and started a garden design and coaching business. She has taught classes on geology, soils, gardening, and pruning. Paige’s immersion in the lives of America’s native bees began with a gardening epiphany: honey bees can’t pollinate tomatoes. This led to an obsession with bees that cascaded into taking classes, wading through scientific literature, raising bees, participating in various kinds of bee science, modifying her garden, trekking into fields and onto farms with bee experts to learn who America’s bees really are, and writing this book