By Bethany Sanders
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.
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.