About Wild Bee ID
Introduction by Wild Bee ID (f.k.a. Wild Bee Gardens) author Celeste Ets-Hokin:
Nearly three quarters of the earth's flowering plants depend upon the pollinating services of regionally native bees for healthy reproduction. Although North America boasts more than 4000 species of native bees, their populations have been declining at alarming rates all across the continent, primarily due to habitat loss and pesticide poisoning. Without these indigenous pollinators, most of our land-based ecosystems would collapse. Yet most of us are not even aware of the existence of native bees, let alone their profound importance to our ecosystems and food webs, or how we as residential gardeners can help support their populations.
We therefore hope that our Wild Bee ID app will provide both an introduction to North America’s native bees and a tool for gardeners coast to coast to actively participate in their conservation. As natural areas are steadily diminished, we are discovering that our residential gardens can provide valuable habitat for many bee species. These adaptive pollinators are always on the lookout for urban real estate, and when you build it, they will come! Traveling no further than our own backyards and community gardens we can help ensure the survival of our native bees by joining together in the creation of a BEE-UTIFUL landscape.
About Center for Food Safety
Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS also educates consumers concerning the definition of organic food and products. CFS uses legal actions, groundbreaking scientific and policy reports, books and other educational materials, market pressure and grass roots campaigns through our True Food Network. CFS's successful legal cases collectively represent a landmark body of case law on food and agricultural issues.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Celeste is the author of all narrative and scientific content of the "Bees," "Plants," and "Guides" sections found in “Wild Bee ID”, which was formerly known as the independent app, “Wild Bee Gardens”.
Celeste, a Zoology graduate from U.C. Berkeley, has since 2009 been dedicated to promoting awareness about North America’s native bees, their vital role in our ecosystems, and the necessary measures to ensure their conservation. To support the work of The Great Sunflower Project and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Celeste created three consecutive North American native bee calendars. The calendars, which were designed to inspire gardeners and growers with an appreciation for the diversity of our native bees, and the need to provide habitat for them, became the foundation for the Wild Bee Gardens app. In 2009, Celeste also initiated a collaborative effort with the Alameda County Master Gardeners to establish a native bee demonstration garden located at the Gardens at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. She has since given numerous talks on native bees for the Alameda County Master Gardener Speaker Series, as well as for local garden clubs, conservation groups and nurseries.
Rebecca and Arlo Armstrong
Becca and Arlo were the app designers of Wild Bee Gardens. They love to explore the outdoors and can often be found camping or riding their bikes. As members of the local community garden they very much enjoy growing and cooking food (Becca) and eating it (Arlo). It was at the Lake Merritt native bee garden that they first met Celeste and started their journey learning about native bees. They currently live in Oakland, California.