KEEP HONEY bees from disappearing by creating a bee friendly garden using plants they love.
Worldwide honey bee stocks have been waning since 2004 because of a mystery illness called Colony Collapse Disorder ( CCD), a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly and inexplicably disappear.
Bees are the prime pollinators of the planet. Since many of our pollinators are now scarce, we are dependent on the honey bee to pollinate our crops.
Pollination starts when a bee crawls around a plant blossom. The honey bee is dusted with pollen. Then the bee flies over to another blossom with the pollen in its hair. When the bee lands, the pollen falls onto this blossom’s stigma. Now a fruit, vegetable or other crop can grow.
Even though other insects pollinate crops too, without the pollination from the honey bees there would be one third less crops in the world than there is now.
Bees are looking for two things when they visit your garden: Nectar which is loaded with sugars and is a bee’s main source of energy and Pollen which provides a balanced diet of proteins and fats. They have good colour vision to help them find flowers and the nectar and pollen they offer. Colours that attract bees are blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow.
Help stop the decline of bees by planting your garden with all kinds of nectar-rich plants.
Encourage them to visit a part of your yard or garden by planting a bee border or a bee garden, just as you would plant a butterfly garden.
Put plants in full sun and in a sheltered place out of the wind. they do not like to be blown around when trying to land on flowers and also prefer flowers in sun rather than shade.
One of the best plants you can use is lavender. Other plants that provide plenty of pollen and nectar include catnip, verbena, borage, toadflax, California poppy, hebe, weigela, scented geraniums and most herbs (Sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint, etc.).
Lastly, protect them from sprays or other insecticides or pesticides. If you must use a spray, try to use one that does not affect them and spray pesticides in the evening after they have returned to their hives.