Google honeybee and you will get more than 10 millions results.
Now run a quick search for “sunflower leafcutter bee” and you will get fewer than 500 returns.
North Fork beekeeper Laura Klahre, owner of artisanal honey product company Blossom Meadow, points out this fact in a recent TED Talk titled “How to Increase Food Production by Using Native Pollinators.”
The Southold beekeeper, whose winemaker husband Adam Suprenant owns Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue where Klahre can frequently be found pouring in the tasting room, said she was honored to deliver a talk for the organization, which showcases “ideas worth spreading” through presentations that are 18 minutes or less.
The honeybee has been stealing attention away from indigenous bees, like the mason bee or the sunflower leafcutter, who are actually far more efficient at pollinating, Klahre said. They just don’t produce delicious honey and thus get far less glory.
“Honeybees get all the attention but you have to know the truth about them,” Klahre says in the 10-minute presentation. “Mason bees are wonderful pollinators for early spring crops. They carry pollen so well on their undersides, and actually all around them, that they kind of look like flying cheese puffs when they are in the air.”
To help these proficient pollinators, she says the most important thing you can do is provide native plants and trees so they have plenty to feast on.
“Plant a flower and take a bee to lunch,” she said.
See the full video here or watch it below