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PROTECTING

NATIVE BEES

Help Sustain the Full Diversity of Native Bee Species

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OUR PURPOSE

Project Eleven Hundred is organized to ensure that native plants and the pollen and nectar they produce are available to sustain the full diversity of native bee species on national public lands; to provide scientific and management information to public land managers on native bees and the biological communities they depend upon; and publicly advocate for native bees.

 

The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an import from Europe. The placement of honey bee hives on public lands can bring millions of these non-native bees into the territories of native bees. The honey bees outcompete the native bees for pollen and nectar, and transmit diseases to the native bees. Rare or uncommon plants may have difficulty reproducing if they are pollinated by a specialized native bee that has been reduced or eliminated by the presence of honey bees. Honey bee apiaries (groups of hives) should not be permitted on public lands.

Curious about what we do? We are eager to share.
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OUR BEGINNING

The work of Project Eleven Hundred began in 2018 when a retired bee biologist (Vince Tepedino) contacted Mary O’Brien, then Utah Forests Program Director for Grand Canyon Trust. He was alarmed that the nation’s largest honey bee company (Adee Honey Farms, headquartered in South Dakota) had requested a US Forest Service permit to park 4,900 honey bee hives for several months on the Manti-La Sal National Forest in central Utah. Mary’s masters and doctorate are in pollination biology. She understood how devastating the Adee Honey apiaries would be to native bees, and began working with the Center for Biological Diversity to prevent the issuance of that permit.

In 2020, Project Eleven Hundred was established as a nonprofit organization to focus on ending the permitting of apiaries on national public lands; and to ensure that native flowers, pollen, nectar, and habitats are available on these lands to support the lands’ full diversity of native bees.

NEWS + NOTES ON NATIVE BEES
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And now? On to California. 

The entrance of Project Eleven Hundred into communications with the Forest Service and  Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managers in California in 2024 is a big deal. It’s the  state with the largest number of native bee species: approximately 1,600 – almost half of the  3,600 species found in all of North America; the largest number of plant species, and the second  largest number (after Hawaii) of plant species at risk of extinction. Unfortunately, it’s also the state producing the second largest amount of honey (after North Dakota). Which means an  enormous number of honey bee hives are being placed somewhere in the state every year.

Captured by Xerces Society • Stephanie McKnight

As for decisionmakers on the fate of native bees, California is the state with the largest number of Forest Service Ranger Districts (68), and the largest number of BLM field offices (15). Any of  the District Rangers and any of the BLM Field Managers may or may not be issuing permits for  placement of honey bee hives among the native bees on the lands they manage. As Project Eleven Hundred enters California this year, we will be learning – with others - how best to  approach our task of ending the permitting of apiaries on all national forests and BLM lands – including in California. We will let you know how we are doing.​Photo: Crotch’s bumble bee (Bombus crotchii).

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