Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Get a Buzz-Worthy Garden!

The June 2013 issue of Prevention magazine includes some great tips on gardening for healthy bees that we had to share as part of National Pollinator Week!

Choose the right colors and blooms.
Yellow, violet, orange and blue flowers are especially attractive to bees. Plant borage, a honeybee favorite with ultraviolet flowers that bloom for months at a time, or other long-lasting bloomers such as coneflower, coreopsis, Russian sage, bee balm and black-eyed Susan. Bees also love cosmos, lavender, calendula, sunflowers and asters.

Keep shape in mind.
Be sure your garden's mix includes more than the trumpet-shaped blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Bees have short tongues, so they can't get as much food from trumpet shapes.

Get more out of your grass.
Consider letting the white clover and dandelions grow in your lawn by going herbicide-free. These give honeybees seasonal food sources for a balanced diet when other blooms are scarce.

Give them a place to drink.
Decorate your backyard with a birdbath or dish to serve as a rehydration station. Stack some large pebbles until they reach just above the waterline to prevent honeybees from drowning when they drink up before returning to the hive. Change the water regularly to avoid attracting mosquitoes.

Avoid pesticides.
Pesticides -- even formulas labeled "bee friendly" -- can be toxic to honeybees. Steer clear of using any chemicals in your garden. An insecticidal soap such as Safer brand shouldn't hurt honeybees, as long as you don't spray them directly. But remember to use it only in the early evening when bees aren't visiting flowers.


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