More than 400 species of bees can be found in Missouri and the populations of a number of these species are in trouble. That’s concerning because these bees provide a number of benefits to humans.

More than 400 species of bees can be found in Missouri and the populations of a number of these species are in trouble. That’s concerning because these bees provide a number of benefits to humans.

People wanting to learn more about the variety of bees found in Missouri and how to attract these valuable insects to their yards can get information at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program “Hotel for Bees.” This online program will be 2-2:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This program is designed for all ages.

People can register for this program at mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/173938

Honeybees and bumblebees are the insects most people think of when they hear the word “bee,” but Missouri’s bee population is much more diverse than this. Miner bees, mason bees, and leafcutter bees are examples of the many types of bees that can be found in Missouri. Many of these bees don’t store honey or live in hives, but their pollinating activities play a critical role in the health and integrity of our natural habitats. MDC Naturalist Cameron Johnston will discuss what kinds of homes native bees prefer and will provide pointers on how people can build a “hotel” for bees. Creating these special habitats will help ensure that important pollination activities will continue to take place.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/regions.