While most of this book has focused on bees, good rearing information exists for many other insect species. For example, vast numbers of fly species— currently assaulted with aerosol cans, bug zappers, and fly swatters—may, in the future, be harnessed as dual-purpose pollinators and biocontrol agents, preying upon crop pests like aphids, and doing our pollinating in the process.

The European honey bee is overworked and undervalued. With every publicized crisis she is telling us that she needs a rest. Alternative managed pollinators are not a substitute for the honey bee, but they are a supplement on the road to a holistic multi-species approach to crop pollination. It’s impossible to know exactly how we will reach that destination, but the insects discussed in this book, along with innumerable anonymous insect heroes, will be part of the process.