Archive for May 18th, 2012

Bumble Bee

It’s not news that bees are in trouble, and have been for several years.  Honeybees and bumblebees are disappearing in frightening numbers. There is much speculation about the cause. It may be a new parasite that’s been introduced; it could be linked to pesticide use, a reduction in habitat, or a combination of these and other factors.

We need bees!

In fact, there are some plants that cannot survive without bee pollination, including apples,  almonds,  soybeans, strawberries, many melons and citrus fruits, cucumbers and others.  Imagine life without all those fruits and veggies!

What Can We Do?

You can invite these pollinating heroes into your yard by providing food sources and living space for a new colony to grow and thrive.

How to make a “bee friendly” yard:

Plant a wide variety of blooming plants. Bees are attracted to areas with a diversity of flowering plants.  Try to have things blooming all season from spring through fall.

Plant natives. Experts say that bees are 4 times more likely to frequent native plants than exotics.Plant a native wildflower garden. You and the bees will both enjoy it!

Remember those food crops that need bees. Well, bees need them too, so plant flowering crops, fruit and nut trees, and berries.

Provide water.  A shallow bird feeder, fountain. or butterfly puddler will be a welcome stopping point for bees.

Avoid chemical pesticides. If you must spray, apply after dusk when bees are not active, or use a bee friendly product like Neem Oil.

Tolerate weeds. Bees just know flowers, they don’t discriminate against what we call weeds. Leave a few dandelions until after they bloom. C’mon, do it for the bees!

Finally, try a bee house.

Interesting that many of the things that attract bees also give us more beautiful and productive gardens.

What will you do to attract bees?

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