Specialist Bees

6:45 pm - 8:30 pm

Specialist Bees, presented by Heather Holm

This will be a zoom presentation, so check back here closer to Nov. 18 to get the link.

The monarch butterfly is probably the most famous insect specialist (the caterpillars only feed on milkweed), but did you know that many native bees are also specialists? Female native bee specialists or oligoleges, only collect pollen from a narrow range of native plants; this could mean just one plant genus or many genera that belong to one plant family. Heather will highlight many of these native plant-bee specializations as well as the overlapping habitat requirements of the bees and plants. The presentation will also include the threats to specialists such as habitat loss and climate change.

Heather Holm is a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author. In addition to assisting with native bee research projects, she informs and educates audiences nationwide, through her writing and many presentations, about the fascinating world of native pollinators and beneficial insects, and the native plant communities that support them.

Her first book, Pollinators of Native Plants, was published in 2014, and her second book, Bees, published in 2017, has won six book awards including the 2018 American Horticultural Society Book Award. Her latest book, Wasps, was published in February 2021. Heather’s expertise includes the interactions between native pollinators and native plants, and the natural history and biology of native bees and predatory wasps occurring in the Upper Midwest and Northeast.

Heather is a National Honorary Director of Wild Ones. She also serves on the board of the Friends of Cullen Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 non-profit. In her spare time, Heather is an active community supporter, writing grants and coordinating neighborhood volunteer landscape restoration projects. Currently, she is working on three projects with volunteers, restoring approximately ten acres of city-owned park land in her neighborhood for pollinators and people. She lives in Minnesota with her husband.​