There’s been a lot of buzz about bees as more people voice concerns about declining habitats. Actually, that’s one point that I’d like to make… bee populations have held steady since the end of World War II but bee habitats have declined.
Have you ever observed pollinators in your yard? You’ll see they visit dandelions and clover, but most people yards are too groomed to provide a food source. Just think of the difference we could make if each of us stopped mowing and planted native grasses and wild flowers in just one corner of our yard!
Native grasses and wild flowers take almost no maintenance, and once they’re established, they provide food and habitat for the native fauna of the prairie. Plants that are native to region will take the least effort and be the most attractive to pollinators. Honey bees are most attracted to yellow, blue, or purple flowers.
Each one of us – whether we live in a city or in the country – can help provide bee habitat with 3 simple steps:
Plan. What’s the area like where you intend to plant flowers? Is it sunny or shady? What’s the soil type? Next, decide what type of pollinators you want to attract. The Bee Smart ™ Pollinator Gardener’s app can help narrow the search of which plants to use in your garden based upon regional needs, such as soil, amount of sunlight, preferred type of pollinators and flower color.
Plant. Attracting a diverse community of native bee species begins with raising an abundant and diverse garden. When planting, be sure to plant generously throughout your whole garden. Pollinators are more attracted to large groups of flowers versus single plants. Click here for a listing of plants that attract bees.
Provide. Once your garden is planted, provide water as well as food sources for bees. Grassy areas and shrubbery nearby provides a healthy habitat for pollinators’ nesting and egg-laying needs.
“Forage habitat is one of the top factors for bee health,” said Becky Langer, Bayer CropScience bee health project manager. “The goal of ‘Feed a Bee’ is to improve forage whether you’re a person who can plant wildflowers in one pot or you’re an individual who can provide habitat on acres of land.”
Last year more than 250,000 people helped #FeedaBee by planting their own gardens, ordering wildflower seeds, and participating in activities across the country. Let’s keep the momentum going! You can get complimentary wildflower packets by contacting me or by requesting them online.