With a worldwide honeybee die-off mystery now solved, gardeners may wonder what they can do to help the remaining honeybees flourish.
According to Kirk Johnson with the New York Times, the reason for the honeybee die-off is a fungus and virus that together interfered with the bee’s digestive system and led to the worldwide honeybee die off. Some people has suspected the culprit was cell phone usage or pesticides.
For gardeners who want to help, there are various flowers and plants that can provide nectar and pollen.
To set up a bee garden, make sure you provide water in a fountain, pond or even birdbath. I like to put stones in my bird bath for the bees and butterflies. Make sure to provide fresh water.
Next, avoid using pesticides in your bee garden. This is important for bees as well as butterflies.
Create a garden with 10 or more different species of plants. Be creative and less formal with your bee garden. Bees do not like to be disturbed and may nest in the ground or trees nearby. Although your bee garden does not have to be completely wild, save the more manicured look for another garden.
Benefits of a bee garden for you include the fact that they cross pollinate plants to help your fruit trees, vegetables and ornamentals. Since I live in Florida, I planted a lemon tree to attract bees. Magnolia trees, hollies and ornamentals such as crepe myrtle are also good trees for bees.
Here are few flowers and plants that bees love:
No. 1: Best plant for a bee garden: Sunshine Mimosa. With pink pom-poms that pop up and sparkle, Sunshine Mimosa is a beautiful native groundcover that can also just grow in your grass. Classified as a legume, it’s drought tolerant. The sensitive plant, as it’s also called, attracts bees.
No. 2: Best plant for a bee garden: Crepe Myrtle. Crape Myrtle or Crepe Myrtle blooms attract bees. You can grow Crape Myrtle as a bush or small tree. There is also a dwarf version. Grown in a sunny spot or one with part-shade.
No. 3: Best plant for a bee garden: Sapphire Showers or Duranta erecta. The Sapphire showers has beautiful sky blue flowers that attract butterflies as well as bees. It can be grown as a bush or small tree. The berries are eaten by birds.
No. 4: Best plant for a bee garden: Herbs such as oregano. Bees are attracted to oregano and other herbs once they flower.
No. 5: Best plant for a bee garden: Powder Puff or Calliandra haematocephala. An evergreen shrub, the powder puff bush is a native that has pink powder puff blooms similar to the Sunshine Mimosa. It is native to the United States. Bees liked my dwarf powder puff bush so much that I had to move it away from the house.
To prevent the same problem I had with bees near the house, plant your bee garden out of the walking path of people. Bees don’t like to be disturbed by people and people don’t like to be stung by bees! At the same time, I’ve only been stung by a bee once and that was when I was not looking as I gathered bay leaves for making a stew.
With a little creatively and the right plants for your climate, you can create a lovely bee garden to reverse the problem created by the honeybee die-off.
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