The U.S. imports this bee by the gallon. Why can’t we raise our own?

The U.S. imports this bee by the gallon. Why can’t we raise our own?

Elisabeth Wilson drives to a small field every day to check her nests set out along a research field at North Dakota State University. They’re home to the alfalfa leafcutter bee.

This species is nothing like a honey bee. It lives a more solitary lifestyle. They’re smaller and they don’t live in hives. Instead, they create nests in tiny, deep holes.

Every year farmers spend thousands of dollars to purchase larvae from bee brokers in Canada. The bees are sold by the gallon and shipped into the United States. In 2016, more than 70,000 gallons of leafcutter bees were exported from Canada.

 

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