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Help the Bees

Posted by Ryan Shannon on

Some people think nature is "out there", in a national park or other designated wilderness area. But bees, our most important pollinators, love to live in urban settings where there are short flight paths, and a variety of different plants and flowers to sample. In fact, bees are more likely to thrive in your backyard, community or patio garden, and on mixed farms than on acres devoted to single crops.

We've all heard about the mysterious global disappearance of honeybees. Other bee species are also declining, mainly because of habitat loss. You can make a big difference just by creating a bee-friendly space in your garden. (And it's not hard — bees are easy to please!)

Create a welcome place for bees

  • All creatures that eat plants (including humans!) depend on pollinators.
  • ¾ of the foods we eat — fruits, nuts, vegetables, and herbs — need pollinators to reproduce.
  • Creating hospitable homes for beneficial insects in your garden means they are less likely to move into your house.
  • You'll triple the yield of fruit and veggies in your garden — no more lumpy strawberries or shrunken squash!
  • Even what seems like a small contribution — just a tiny flower pot or patch — can provide valuable pollinator habitat.
  • Plant some of these plants, organized by when they bloom, these are just some species that attract bees:
Early Mid-season Late
Blueberry Blackberry Aster (perennial)
Cotoneaster Cat mint Beggar's tricks
Crabapple Catnip Borage
Cranberry Chives Coneflower
Crocus Dahlia Cornflower
Foxglove Hyssop Cosmos
Heliotrope Lavender Goldenrod
Hazelnut Raspberry Pumpkin
Heather Sunflower Sedum
Primrose Yarrow Squash
Willow
 

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