What's All the Buzz About?

March 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

Which came first--the flower or the bee?  I've often pondered this question as I watch a bumble bee back into a penstemon flower seemingly designed with perfect measurements with regard to her bee-shape.  Busy honey bees seeming to buzz perfectly in tune to Rimsky's "Flight of the Bumble Bee" invite me to sing along.  Of course there's the sneaky leaf cutter bee sawing perfect circles in rose leaves when nobody is looking.  Bees in the garden make me laugh, and over time I've grown to respect and appreciate the vital work that they naturally provide.   

As most gardeners know, bees are essential for healthy gardens and pollination for agriculture. Unfortunately since 2006, the honey bee has been in decline due to a condition called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), possibly caused by a virus, pesticides, fungus, or environmental stress.  Record numbers of bee workers began to abandon their hives causing the colonies to die, and in the US alone there has been a 30% loss of the bee population.  There is hope in reversing this trend, but gardeners, as well as farmers, need to do their part as well.  

 

Five Ways to Help the Bees

  1. Help the bee by limiting the use of herbicides and pesticides, especially on windy days.  Better yet, try alternatives such as "cinnamon" spray for powdery mildew and good old fashioned weed pulling.  Deb's Gardening uses a holistic approach to weeding - by hand ;)
  2. Plant for the bee with perennial gardens that naturally attract all types of bees, especially the native bees, which luckily haven't felt the effects of CCD. 
  3. Know the bee and appreciate the work they do; furthermore, educate your children about understanding the difference between the docile bee and a more aggressive wasp. Have you ever petted a bee? I have :)
  4. Be the bee by building or purchasing your own backyard bee-house.  Check out the Black Forest Honey Farms at http://blackforesthoney.com.)
  5. Respect the bee and if it's necessary to disturb or move the natural habitat, it is recommended to take humane measures or simply call a bee keeper to remove the hive. (Visit http://pikespeakbeekeepers.org for a referral.

Contact Deb's Gardening at http://debsgardening.com to set up a consultation on how you can bring the "buzz" back to your gardens.  



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