The garigue in Malta is an important habitat for many species of bees, which play a crucial role in the ecosystem as pollinators. The garigue is home to several species of solitary bees, which are important pollinators of many of the endemic plant species found in Malta.
Solitary bees are different from social bees, such as honeybees, as they do not form colonies or produce honey. Instead, they live alone and create nests in the ground or in crevices in rocks. Solitary bees are important pollinators because they are often more efficient at pollinating plants than honeybees, as they carry pollen directly from flower to flower without the need to travel back to a hive.
In Malta, the garigue is home to several species of solitary bees, including the Maltese honeybee (Apis mellifera ruttneri) and the Maltese carpenter bee (Xylocopa macedonica). These species are important pollinators of many of the endemic plant species found in the garigue, including the Maltese rock-centaury and the Maltese pyramidal orchid.
However, the bee populations in Malta and the garigue are facing several threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticide use, and climate change. As a result, conservation efforts are underway to protect bee populations in Malta, including the creation of protected areas and the promotion of sustainable land management practices that preserve and enhance bee habitats. Additionally, public education initiatives are helping to raise awareness about the importance of bees and the need to protect them for future generations.