Many of our favorite fruits and vegetables are dependent on pollination by bees. They in many ways are the life blood of modern agriculture. Imagine a world without any fruits, tomatoes, peppers, onions, pumpkins, almonds, and melons. It wouldn’t be a fun place to be. Three-quarters of the world’s food system is reliant on pollination by bees.
We have a huge problem in front of us. Honeybees throughout the world are abandoning their hives and disappearing. According to many studies, this phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, can be directly linked to the most widely used class of pesticides, neonicotinoids. The European Union has already begun banning the use of the major neonicotinoid pesticides. They are still widely used in the United States in both agricultural and horticultural.
These pesticides are commonly found on many plants sold in many garden centers nation-wide including Lowe’s and Home Depot. It’s important to only purchase organically grown plants unless you have confirmation that the plants were not treated with neonicotinoids. Don’t buy a pre-poisoned ‘bee-friendly’ plant. Convenience can have unfortunate consequences. Ask questions before you buy.
creating a bee friendly garden
Creating bee friendly gardens and yards and increasing habitat is vital to bee survival. Here are a few simple tips for creating a bee friendly yard or garden:
- Choose plants that are well suited for bees in your region
- Avoid the use of pesticides
- Use plants with single blooms and many individual flowers
- Pick plants that bloom heavily
- Select plants with long lasting blooms
- Select a variety of plants that bloom in all seasons
The most important choice to make in creating a bee friendly garden is selecting plants that will attract and feed bees. Plants with plenty of pollen and nectar are best. Here is a helpful guide for choosing bee friendly plants:
Are you planting a ‘bee-friendly’ garden? What plants do bees love the most in your garden?