LEARN: 1. What Are Native Bees?

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1.6 A Brief History of Bees

1.6 A Brief History of Bees

Thank the bees for changing, creating, and building our world.

Bees, wasps, and ants share a common ancestry and around 135 million years ago the family tree split. Wasps are predators that feed insects to their young for protein and the ancestor of bees is a wasp that became vegetarian. Pollen is full of protein, starch, fats, and vitamins and bees feed their young a loaf of pollen mixed with nectar.

The conversion to an all pollen-for-protein diet completely changed the way our flowers are pollinated. As bees evolved feathery hair and specialized body parts to carry gathered pollen, flowers responded to entice and attract bees. The interplay between evolution in flowers and bees created an immense variety of flowers, food, and bees. Today the world is home to more than 21,000 species of bees!

Macquarie Island is an island without bees and flower structures on this unique bee-less island are green and odorless. Caffeine in coffee and tea flowers improves bee’s energy and memory and we owe our morning buzz to bees. We wanted to take the time to thank the bees for our colorful, fragrant, and nutritious home.


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