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By Keith S. Delaplane Daniel F. Mayer

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Social species live together as a colony of related individuals in which there is: (i) cooperative care of the young; (ii) more-or-less infertile female workers; and (iii) offspring that stay at the nest to help their mother produce more siblings (Wilson, 1971). In social species, individuals of the same sex occur in different sizes and forms called castes. The queen is a female fully equipped to mate and lay fertilized eggs that become female workers or queens. Workers are females that do not mate but on occasion do lay unfertilized eggs that become males.

This idled land represents an enormous opportunity to grow food plants for bees, and seed blends are commercially available that have been designed to provide a succession of bloom on lands designated for one-year set-aside. , 1994) and the Ascot Linde SN mixture (Cebeco Zaden BV, Vlijmen, The Netherlands and Stichting Imerij Fortmond, Olst, The Netherlands). ), 5% sunflower (Helianthus annuus), 3% red radish (Raphanus sativus), 3% cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), 3% mallow (Malva sylvestris), 2% anethum (Anethum graveolens), and 1% borage (Borago officinalis).

Bee habitat conservation and improvement have received considerable attention in Europe, but relatively little in North America. Conservation, however, is conceivably one of the most cost-effective ways to increase pollinators. The changes brought about by conservation programmes, such as habitat sanctuaries and perennial bee pastures, tend to be long-lasting, spreading the cost of their installation over many years. Moreover, the benefits are long-lasting since permanent nesting sites and pastures encourage large, locally-recurring bee populations.

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