Gardening For The Honey Bees
The Honey bee
The gardener does not work alone; to be successful and produce beautiful flowers and healthy vegetables the gardener has many assistants lending a hand. The honey bee is one that pulls more than its weight when it comes to your garden.
You can attract bees to your garden by using plants that will get their attention; such as perennial herbs and self-seeding annuals. Now you maybe asking yourself why would I want bees; well first the honey bee is an important plant pollinators, and if plants to not get pollinated they will not produce the fruits and flowers that we seek and need.
There is a clear and present danger to honey bees in North America and elsewhere; it all began a year or so ago when across North America honey bees are dying. Researchers are making a concentrated effort to find out why.
The researches have labeled this phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder. (CCD). CCD has been reported in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and way out in California.
It has also been reported in Canada and France.The losses for some beekeeper are as high as 80 percent of their colonies. Apparently the worker bee population dies off within a few weeks. Why the concern over bees? The bees do more than make honey which by itself is a major industry. Honey bees pollinate millions of dollars worth of crops countrywide and their disappearance could cause serious economic damage.
Home gardeners can help by creating gardens or adding plants to their existing gardens that will attract honey bees. How do you recognize a honey bee? Honey bees are hairy, about 5/8” long and have black and yellow stripes on their abdomens.
The Honey Bee Garden
Seed Suggestions, sweet alyssum, coriander, dill, tansy, corn poppies, and white yarrow.
- You can add your choice of the above mentioned plants to the border of an existing garden bed, for example; simply pick the plants that best match your existing design.
- You can create a bee garden. If this is your choice, you may want to palce the garden as far away from the area of the back yard where you sit and enjoy the evening. This is not for your or your visitors’ protection but for the bees; you do not want you guest swatting at them because they were attracted to the clothes that someone is wearing; for example, bees cannot see red but do like white.
- Sow small amounts of each seed type that you have selected on a well-prepared soil. Follow the instructions on the package for sowing.
- Gently water the seeds and be sure to keep the ground moist during the first month or so.
- Enjoy, you can pick the herbs and flower for your own use as long as you leave some for the bees.
There are other insects known as beneficial insects that help your garden grow. A healthy vibrant and productive garden is a palce alive with a wide variety of spiders, insects, and birds for example. The hum and buzz of your backyard will tell you that all is as it should be and your garden is part of nature not an island that has been isolated and struggling to thrive.