In addition to making delicious, multi-purpose honey, honey bees also pollinate one third of the food you eat. These hard-working flying insects provide 80 percent of our nation’s pollination service for vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Unfortunately, the honey bee population is dwindling down to an alarmingly low number over the past decade (it has been called Colony Collapse Disorder), and it’s up to us to help them survive and thrive. By incorporating a few plants into your garden or landscape that attract honey bees, you can provide them with the nourishment they need to re-populate and survive.
Plant a Honey Bee Garden
Honey bees need nectar and pollen year around, so make it a goal to have something blooming in your garden for as many months of the year as possible. Plant a dedicated honey bee garden or add a few of these plants to an existing flower garden.
Some great pollen and nectar producing flowers include:
Any flowers that produces a blue, purple, yellow of orange blooms seems to be ones honey bees are attracted to the most.
The usage of chemicals on the garden, trees and lawn are contributing to the reduction in the honey bee population. The pesticides, insecticides and fungicides formulated to keep plants pest-free is also keeping the plants honey bee-free. If you need to use pesticides, try to use low impact organic pesticides, but of course, the best way is no pesticides at all.
Go organic in the garden and landscape to help prevent further demise of the honey bee population. Use organic compost and cow manure for fertilizer, mulch and soil conditioning instead of chemical fertilizer. Marigolds and geraniums act as organic pest control in the garden. These flowers will attract honey bees while repelling undesirable pests, plus they add color and texture to your landscape.
By setting up a couple of bee hives on your property, you will have 1,000s of ready and willing workers that will pollinate your garden crops and fruit trees, provide you with homemade food and wax, and you won’t have to pay them a cent.
All this free labor is yours for an initial minimal investment of a couple of hives and a few bees. It may also provide you with a lucrative home-based business of selling honey and bee’s wax and some people have started a business this way. If nothing else, it will help keep the honey bees and plant life thriving in your area.
Set up a perfect homestead for honey bees in our landscape by placing a bee hive in an out-of-the-way location and plant a few nectar and pollen-rich flowers nearby. This set up will attract the honey bees and provide them a safe environment in which to thrive.
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