Duke Gardens is filled with diverse plants. Our horticulturists and curators select the plants to grow here based on a number of factors, from producing beautiful flowers to belonging to a natural ecosystem. And Duke Gardens is not just for plants. All sorts of animals live here as well. Many of those animals depend on the plants for food and shelter, and some of these animals are just as necessary in the plants' lives. Pollinators such as bees are among those animals.
honey bees (Apis mellifera)
Bees might not be everyone's favorite insect, but they're an incredibly important part of the Gardens' ecosystem. (Not to mention that they, too, would much rather go about that business peacefully, without human interaction.) They eat the nectar and pollen of flowers, and in turn they transfer some of that pollen between different plants.
bumble bee (genus Bombus)
Duke Gardens is home to many different kinds of bees, from the more well known honey bees that you'll see in the Discovery Garden to solitary ones like mason bees that make their homes in hollow stems or holes they burrow in the ground.
flower fly (family Syrphidae)
yellow jacket (genus Vespula)
It's a wonderful ecosystem relationship, rich with life, and it's great to have here at the Gardens!