Turn your land into a bee friendly habitat
As we’ve already mentioned in our introduction, the bees are in serious trouble. Recently, seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees were added to the endangered list. While some headlines out there would have you believe the entire class is on the list (it’s not)- this is still great cause for concern. We’re starting you off with a few tips that will help you turn your land into a bee friendly habitat so we can all help keep them around. Keep checking back for more over the coming weeks.
Choose bee-friendly plants
You will make the bee population very happy if you make the effort to plant native wildflowers, flowering herbs, berries and varying flowering fruits & vegetables. Here in Massachusetts, honeybees favor:
- Mint, basil, sage, thyme, oregano, lavender, chives, buck wheat.
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.
- Cucumbers, tomatoes, winter squash, pumpkins, watermelon, flowering broccoli
- Crocus, black-eyed susans, lilacs, wisteria, tulips, sunflowers, clovers, snowdrops, bee balm, honeysuckle, peony & more.
- Maple, Willow, Black Locust and Sumac are great trees to plant if you have the space.
All of these plants make for excellent food sources for bees. Remember not to get rid of your dandelions, as those are the early Spring “go to” food source for bees before everything else has bloomed. When it comes to bees, dandelions are NOT weeds. Ideally you will pick the plants that have the longest blooming cycles, and/or the ones who have successive blooms. You want to encourage the bees to keep coming back over and over again.
Be sure to keep the same plants together, ideally one square yard of the same kind. It will do a better job at attracting the bees, and they’ll have plenty to work with when they find them.
Let your plants flower
Let the flowers on your plants remain as to allow the bees to get the pollen and nectar from them when they need it. When you grow herbs or veggies like Broccoli, leave the plant intact after you’ve harvested. Letting the plants go to flower give the bees an extra food source, especially toward the end of the year when everything else is dying. You should leave these plants in the gardens until the flowers are gone.
One mans weed is a meal for the Bees
Society would have you believe that weeds serve no purpose and only exist to frustrate the passionate gardener, this is unfortunate! While the aesthetic of certain weeds may not match your taste, consider the benefits dandelions, clovers, loosestrife, milkweed, goldenrod and other flowering weeds can give to our struggling bee population. The reality is, these weeds are crucial to a bees ability to survival.
If you have a nice lawn, leave the weeds alone. Find the beauty in them and appreciate their role in providing an extra, much needed food source for the bees. Sometimes looks aren’t the only thing that matter when you’re trying to serve nature over yourself. It certainly doesn’t mean you can’t take good care of your landscaping, but bee thoughtful 🙂
In the coming weeks we will be sharing information on the importance of quitting the chemicals (pesticides, herbicides etc). Please stay tuned and plan to implement these pieces of advice for the upcoming Spring season and beyond. Thanks for beeing thoughtful. Share your tips with us in the comments!
Your purchases from our store help us continue our educational efforts, if you’re a honey-lover consider trying our delicious varieties of honey!