To Bee or Not to Bee: The Best and Worst States to Be a Bee

As climate change continues to sweep the globe, there is one factor that has stuck particularly well in the public’s mind: the bees. Bees have been experiencing major population issues for more than a decade, and one of the major environmental causes people are getting behind is “Save the Bees.” Of course, at Spring Hill Nursery, bees are a well-loved and crucial creature that help our plants and customers continue to thrive. We love bees and we were curious to find out where it’s best to be a bee in the U.S. Using USDA data, we took a look at bee population trends across the nation. You can check out our insights below!


If you happen to be a bee, you’ll definitely want to migrate to Maine, as they have had the highest percentage increase in bee colonies since 2018 based on the latest USDA data. If you can’t make it to Maine, however, Oklahoma is a great second option, followed by Nebraska or Michigan. On the other hand, your prospects aren’t great if you happen to be a bee in Iowa, which has had a particularly dramatic downturn in the bee population since 2018 with over a 250% decrease in colony growth.


California takes the cake in this area with over 160,000 bee colonies lost between 2018 and 2019. Their colony losses far outstrip second-place Florida with just under 43,000 colonies lost followed by North Dakota and Texas, both of which have lost over 20,000 colonies in the past 2 years. If you’re looking for ways to make your garden more hospitable for bees to help out with colony loss, you can use our Plant Identifier tool to identify every plant in your garden, which ones are best for bees, and include more plants to attract these fabulous pollinators.

In terms of real estate, and in spite of the large drop in the number of colonies, California is still one of the best places to live like a bee. They have by far the largest number of colonies, as they are the only state in the US to have more than 1 million colonies. Florida and Texas take second and third place here, but even with their impressive numbers, they hover around 250,000 hives, nowhere near as many as California. Shakespeare might have asked “To be or not to be, that is the question” but we prefer “Where to bee or where not to bee”. We love seeing bees buzzing around our plants, and you should too! If you’re wondering how to attract more pollinators to your garden, you can check out our recommendations for you here, and if you have any questions, contact us! We’d love to help you create a haven for bees in your own backyard.