For the Love of The Buzz

Nothing screams hello spring like tipping outside and hearing bumblebees buzz by your ear. If you’ve ever been stung before you may shiver a bit but there are many benefits to bees being present in your garden.

The honey bees that are critical to the pollination of key U.S. crops have been disappearing at a staggering rate over the last year, according to a new government report that comes as regulators, environmentalists and agribusinesses try to reverse the losses.Beekeepers, environmental groups and some scientists blame a class of insecticide known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, used on crops such as corn as well as on plants used in lawns and gardens.

DesignScapes of NC recommends that you always remember that your garden should be a friendly haven for our flying friends. Bee friendly flowers are rich in pollen and nectar. Bees can easily tap into these flowers and access their pollen and nectar through the late summer months.

The greater the number of suitable flowering plants in your garden the better but you should aim for at least two kinds of bee-friendly plants for each flowering period. You can plant what you like in your garden so long as it doesn’t escape into the wild.

All bees are dependent on flowers. Most bees favor only certain species of flowers when collecting pollen. Besides nectar and pollen, some flowers secrete oils from special floral glands, which some bees also collect.

To attract bees, provide an abundance of the right kinds of blooms. Because plants tend to flower at certain times, it is a good idea to include a variety of flowers in your garden that will bloom at different times of the year.

Bees won’t chew up or otherwise harm prize specimens. Instead, they leave a pollination path as they move from one bloom to the next. So it’s all right to include special flora varieties in your bee garden for a more striking visual effect. But the main focus of the garden should remain selecting the best “bee-rewarding” plants you can find.

For best results and less maintenance, your garden should consist mainly of native annual and perennial wildflowers. Bees are especially attracted to blue, purple, and yellow flowers.

Heres a Few to Try:

Purple Coneflower

Bee Balm

Asters

Beardtongue

Stonecrop

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