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Our Native Bees: North America's Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them

By Paige Embry

Guides us through the world of overlooked and obscure bee species that fill the air around us.

Wall Street Journal

Honey bees get all the press, but the fascinating story of North America’s native bees—endangered species essential to our ecosystems and food supplies—is just as crucial. Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture. The people and stories are compelling: Paige Embry goes on a bee hunt with the world expert on the likely extinct Franklin’s bumble bee, raises blue orchard bees in her refrigerator, and learns about an organization that turns the out-of-play areas in golf courses into pollinator habitats. Our Native Bees is a fascinating, must-read for fans of natural history and science and anyone curious about bees.

Media reviews

"Clear and crisp.…​A flight path through overwhelming amounts of information."

New York Times Book Review

"Designed to educate everyone from bee and honey enthusiasts to amateur gardeners and agricultural professionals, Embry’s captivating profiles of just a few of the myriad native bee species and the dedicated individuals and institutions committed to their survival are as entertaining as they are enlightening."


"Embry possesses a voracious curiosity, a genuine interest in people and nature, and an ability to digest science and the people who practice it into illuminating and humorous stories.…​Our Native Bees is essential reading."

Story Circle Book Reviews

"With vivid color photography, thorough research and humor (such as her children’s horror when they discover bees in the refrigerator), you’ll come away laughing, better informed, and ready to heed her clarion call to save these indispensable insects."

Seattle Magazine

"Embry artfully weaves together descriptions of native bees with accounts of the state of the science from leading research programs.…​This book will open readers’ eyes to the great diversity and importance of these creatures, and what’s being done to learn all about their biology ... Embry has found a calling as an ambassador for all the 'other' bees, and she is inspiring audiences to care about these insects while they are still here to be cared for."

American Entomologist

"Guides us through the world of overlooked and obscure bee species that fill the air around us: bumblebees, masons, alkali, leaf cutters, diggers, miners and many more."

Wall Street Journal

"A buzzworthy book if ever there was one."

Country Gardens

"Embry—an independent scholar—shares her enthusiasm and concerns for these lesser-known but important insect pollinators.…​Embry writes in an easygoing, conversational style. Nicely illustrated with a variety of full-color photographs, this book is an enjoyable read, suitable for both bee enthusiasts and general interest readers."


"The readability of this book to non-scientists…​is due to her passionate interest in bees.f"

Triangle Gardener

"Embry’s writing is fresh and funny, and her enthusiasm for her subject contagious."

Maine Organic Farm & Gardener

"A very compelling book."

Appalachian Voices

"Embry’s writing style is superbly suited to her task. Her friendly, humor-filled prose ... makes the book particularly inviting to newcomers to the subject."

Well-Read Naturalist

"A keeper for people interested in our food supply—gardeners in particular—as it relates to bees. The book is also essential for those of us who enjoy good writing with a bent toward natural history and science, who are simply keen to know more about the world around us."

The Missoulian

About the author

Paige Embry

Paige Embry has a BS in geology from Duke University and an MS in geology from the University of Montana. She has worked as an environmental consultant, taught horticulture and geology classes, and run a garden design and coaching business. She has written articles for Horticulture, The American Gardener, and other magazines. Visit her at paigeembry.com.

Read more about Paige Embry

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