Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) Photo by Alan Silvester/Wikipedia Commons
SUBMITTED BY DESIGNS BY SUNDOWN
n the last few years, you may have heard about the rise in the death of bees. We know that bees are dying from pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, air pollution, global warming and more. Many of the causes are linked and humans are largely responsible. Why does this matter? Bees help pollinate to produce a third of what humans eat. 70 out of the top 100 human food crops are pollinated by bees.
If bees are to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat, why are they so feared in the landscape? Many people mistake bees for hornets or wasps, which have similar coloration and stripes. If you are not agitating a bee or disturbing their hive, they will most likely not sting you. Bees typically have furry bodies to help pollen stick to them, while wasps and hornets are typically a brighter yellow. Another distinct difference is the creature’s homes. Wasp nests are paper-like texture, and can be found under gutters or in tight corners. Bees typically build their home in a protected area, such as a hollow tree, or hole in a wall. (Silence of the Bees)
Hyssop is a great plant to include in your garden for pollinators! This endangered rusty patched bumble bee and monarch butterfly love it! Photo courtesy of Lisa Nordstrom Kuck/Wikipedia Commons
So how can we help the bees? Responsible use of pesticides, restoring ecological agriculture, and preserving wild habitat are a good start. As a homeowner, planting pollinator plants will help provide an environment for bees, birds, and other beneficial creatures. Below is a list of our top 10 plants that will inspire bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to visit your garden. With bloom times ranging from spring through fall, the colors, textures, and aromas of these hardy perennials are sure to delight our senses as well.
Give the bees a chance with a few of these tips!
Sources: “Silence of the Bees” A Documentary
“Save the Bees” https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees
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