Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pamper your Pollinators! By Joyce D’Agostino

Photo by Joyce D'Agostino
We have all heard the news reports about how the honeybee is threatened and has dwindling populations. This is serious because we depend on these hard working pollinators to work the fields and backyard gardens so we can enjoy harvest success. Their absence can truly impact the future of growing. 
You can help support the bee populations with some simple additions to your garden and yard to attract the bees and give them the nectar and pollen they require. Check the internet for “plants that attract bees” to help you know which plants are preferable. If you use any type of pesticide or herbicide, check the label carefully, some will note “harmful to bees” and if you want to encourage bees into your garden you must avoid these products.
Many plants that bring the bees and other pollinators to your yard are familiar to gardeners and easy to grow. Sunflowers for example are a favorite of bees and you will soon notice that once they bloom that the bees arrive early in the morning and stay well into the evening. Vegetables with large flowers, such as pumpkins, squash and gourds as well as popular flowering bushes and plants such as wildflowers, lavender and hyssop welcome the bees too. 
As you walk your garden and yard, make note of which plants the bees prefer and plan to grow those again. The bees will be grateful for your wise choice of plants that support their good health.
Here are some good gardening fact sheets available to you to help you learn more about bees and other pollinators:
Photo by Joyce D'Agostino