Bee Aware(ness)!

Bee house

honey bees and flowersWe 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.  

Many annuals, such as cosmos, dahlias, marigolds and sunflowers will bring the bees to your garden.  While often more money up front, the beauty of perennials is you plant them once and watch them come back year after year.  Some bee favorite perennials include astilbe, butterfly bush, hosta and peonies.  Of course, many flowering plants attract beneficial insects, butterflies and songbirds too.  With a little research, you’re bound to find plants you like that multiple species find appealing as well.

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. Bee and pollenator houses have become more and more popular over the past few years and can be found commercially too.  Another step you can take is to not 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 The Planet Bee Foundation!

Have questions about ProLawn’s Organic Approach to Lawn Health Care?  Call the Pros @ ProLawn at 540-662-8316 today!