Bee Aware(ness)!

We all know bees are important for our ecosystem, but do you know exactly why?

Without bees, we wouldn’t have food or flowers. Sounds a bit alarmist, but it’s true. According to the folks at One Green Planet, bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plants.

As you start planning out your seed and plant purchases for your spring garden, think about including varieties that are bee friendly.  That means planting flowering vegetables – like tomato and squash varieties – and interspersing lots of flowers in your vegetable garden to ensure you attract bees.  One or two flowers won’t attract bees, but clusters of flowering plants will.

You might also consider building a bee house.  No, not a bee hive (though that’s any option as well!) but rather a structure that allows for bees to rest and store the pollen they’ve collected.  Or simply, don’t cover your entire garden area with mulch or weed barrier film. While these barriers keep out weeds and make for an attractive looking garden, it prohibits bees from tunneling in the earth (what 95% of bee species do) to store their pollen.

For more information about the importance of bees, visit http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/why-bees-are-important-to-our-planet/ and for more ideas on how to create a bee-friendly garden environment, visit http://homeguides.sfgate.com/use-attract-bees-pollinate-vegetable-garden-28160.html