Here’s a good story in the Capital Press on the role of Alkali bees in pollinating alfalfa seed fields in the Pacific Northwest (follow link below):
I’ve been fascinated with these bees for many years now and I cover them in my Seed Production course at OSU. Unlike the honey bee, alkali bees are native to the Pacific Northwest. This bee nests in the ground (bee beds) and as a result is not very portable. Nevertheless, alkali bees are efficient in tripping alfalfa flowers and contribute to good seed yields through their impact on pollination of the crop.
Near the bee beds in pollination season, one can observe restrictive speed limits on rural roads to protect this valuable pollinator.