Bees bees bees, I love them! When I was a little girl, on my way home from school I'd stop every day in front of our giant almond tree. The branches were filled with hundreds of honey bees hard at work - buzzing from blossom to blossom. The neighbor kids were all afraid to get close, but I loved the excitement! Each little bee had its job to do, and as long as I moved slowly and quietly, they were perfectly happy to have me by their side.
Having that close daily contact with bees as a little girl made me curious about them, and as they're now struggling for survival, concerned for them.
Thank you to Friends of the Earth, for their support of the bees and for sponsoring today's article!
I discovered the work of Friends of the Earth while researching my articles about Neonicotinoids - the pesticides linked with colony collapse disorder that many of our garden centers are spraying onto plants that we buy for our home gardens. I love the pro-bee education that they've developed! Here are a few of their latest videos:
There are some easy steps we can take to make a bee-friendly habitat in our own yards. It is the first step in taking action and making a 'safe zone' for the little critters!
EASY STEPS FOR A BEE-FRIENDLY GARDEN
1) Give them a place to thrive. Bees need a large variety of flowers and plants to survive, and especially love natives that are indigenous to the region. Variety is key: A mix of annuals and perennials is great, and they love clusters where they can have a lot of choice in a small space. When choosing plants, be sure that they're bee-friendly and not pre-treated with Neonics!
2) Keep it organic. Avoid using any pesticides or insecticides in your yard (even 'natural' treatments like Neem Oil are harmful to bees). Instead, use organic approaches like ladybugs and other beneficial insects, and noninsecticidal soaps.
3) Provide a water source. Bees need water to thrive, but can easily drown in larger pools of water like bird baths. Learn more about making a bee bath...coming soon!
4) Give them a home. Bees need a comfortable place to live just like the rest of us. Try a bee house, and leave a pot of sandy soil out, or a section of sandy un-mulched garden, in your yard where solitary ground-nesting bees can make a home.
As part of my pledge to Friends of the Earth, I've installed a Bee&Bee (how cute is that??) home for mason bees and will be sharing all about how to do it! I'll also be sharing some cool tips about how to make a bee bath! Stay tuned...
What do you do to help bees thrive?
Thank you to Friends of the Earth for sponsoring today's discussion!