The monarch butterfly is probably the most famous insect specialist (the caterpillars feed only 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.
About Heather Holm
I am a a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author. I passionately inform and educate audiences nationwide, through my writing and many presentations, about the fascinating world of native pollinators and beneficial insects, and the native plant communities that support them.
I am the author of four books: Pollinators of Native Plants (2014), Bees (2017), Wasps (2021), and Common Native Bees of the Eastern United States (2022). Both Bees and Wasps have won multiple book awards including the American Horticultural Society Book Award (2018 and 2022 respectively). My expertise includes the interactions between native pollinators and native plants, and the natural history and biology of native bees and predatory wasps. My work has been featured in the New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and many local publications. I am also an accomplished photographer and my pollinator photos are frequently featured in print and electronic publications.