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Attract bees to your garden

Filed Under: gardening and plants, nature

bee on flower
Colony collapse disorder, the mysterious phenomenon that has entire colonies of honeybees vanishing into thin air, has brought the state of our bee population to the forefront. Not many people realize this, but bees pollinate about 90% of our flowering crops. What that means is: without bees, we don't eat.

Creating a bee-friendly yard may not solve the issue of colony collapse disorder, but it is a great way of doing your part to encourage a healthy bee population. It'll also ensure that any of your own fruit, vegetable, and flower crops get pollinated, so that you have fresh food to eat and a beautiful yard to enjoy. In addition, the same plants that draw bees bring other pollinators, like butterflies.

So how do you go about attracting bees to your yard? It's not difficult at all. Read more about it after the break.

It's just a matter of growing the right kind of plant to attract the kind of bees you want to have in your garden. Apartment Therapy has several suggestions for finding plants that make a bee-friendly yard, including sites like Urban Bee Garden.

You could also participate in the Great Sunflower Project, a volunteer program that sends out free seeds to help gather data about bee populations. Finally, visit FarmerFred.com to find out what other beneficial insects you can invite to your garden as well.

As a final note, keep in mind that pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides don't create a welcoming environment to living creatures, so if you're trying to make your yard wildlife-friendly, you may want to ditch these for good.

[via Craft]

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  • AndrewinKy

    It's not that without honeybees we don't eat. It's that we eat differently. After all, honeybees are not native to the New World--they came with Europeans. And yet Native Americans managed to eat well.

    Al kinds of flying insects can pollinate: other kinds of bees, moths, butterflies, birds, wind, bats, etc. It's just that honeybees are exceptionally efficient at pollination.

    Still, it's great fun to attract bees. We've planted all sorts of native species to attract insects. The result has been higher-order food chain feeding, as small birds eat the insects, and big birds eat the smaller.

    Reply
  • Chris_in_CA

    We've seen an increase in bees this year. Our pumpkins in particular are flourishing thanks to these hard working pollinators.



    We are participating in the Great Sunflower project this year and are anxiously waiting for the flowers to bloom. Here is another good source of plants that attract bees: http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/docs/FullPlantList.pdf

    -Chris

    http://smithfamilygarden.wordpress.com


    Here's another good

    Reply
  • Diane Rixon

    Great post! I am pretty new to the art of butterfly gardening, but I've been pleasantly surprised by how many bees are also attracted to the same plants. There's something really nice about the sight of bees zipping around the flowers. Always makes me smile!

    Reply
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