Honeybee Decline

018The American Honeybee is extremely important as a pollinator; it is estimated that one in three products in the grocery store relies on honeybees for pollination. Honeybees also produce honey, an important staple with a variety of health benefits.

There may be a number of reasons that honeybee populations are in decline, but one is the loss of habitat. Bees need a good supply of flowers with nutritious nectar. They can’t thrive on fields of corn, and they do best with wild flowers.

Planting wildflowers can make a difference.

Bees can search for flowers at long distances from their hives, but some kinds of plantings are easier for them to find than others. Planting big clumps of flowers together makes them easier for bees to find. Sometimes home gardens are designed with flowers spread out sparsely among rocks or water features. Bees find it easier to recognize large blocks of color.

Bees also prefer fragrant flowers. Some hybrid flowers have been bred to grow big flowers or showy flowers, and have given up their scents in the process. Flowers like mints, borage, clover, and other sweet-scented flowers appeal more to pollinators than a hybrid tea rose.  Genreally a native species is going to have more desirable attractions to pollinators than hybrids.

Choose a Pollinator Mix of wildflower seeds designed to encourage bees. Plant plenty! A sunny area that’s currently growing grass or weeds could be the perfect spot for drifts of an ever changing palette of nectar from the flowers that bees and beautiful coneflowers.