I’ve received my fair share of comments on being the “crazy lady” that talks not only to plants in the garden, but all the critters too, including my insect friends. But did you know that insects play a vital role in nature and pollination? Bees are especially important, and there are actually thousands of species responsible for pollinating the vast majority of crops and trees, thus providing us with abundant fruits and veggies – simply put, without them we would have almost nothing to eat. See where I’m going with this? These are the beneficial insects you want and need to have around, so enticing them to the area and making them feel welcome isn’t crazy at all. And there are others that feel the same!
In fact, many of us would like to do more for these important insects, and with the right resources for practicing our own conservation efforts, we can. What better way to show our love for the bees than by giving them their own special day”¦National Honeybee Day. In an effort to bring awareness to the bees, beekeepers and other honeybee enthusiasts designated this day to help educate and promote the important role bees play in our lives and the environment.
One company takes bee conservation to another level – and that’s Bee HarmonyÂ® Honey, a premium raw brand made for the love of bees. Not only is Bee Harmony made using
responsible earth-loving practices, but it’s dedicated to a mission of bringing awareness for bees
and ways we can collectively take responsibility for keeping bees a thriving part of our lives.
That’s why Bee Harmony is The BeesponsibleÂ® Honey.
And they’re taking it a step further with a campaign that supports the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to plant bee-friendly, pesticide-free gardens across the country. For every social post tagging @beesponsible and using #dontkillmybuzz, Beesponsible will donate $1 to the NWF, for up to $100,000, through August 31. Beesponsible is also selling Don’t Kill My Buzz t-shirts, with $5 from each purchase also going to support the NWF. And you can help in these efforts too. In addition to participating in their campaign, you can also visit the Beesponsible Shop for additional items.
But there’s no need to stop there. Go the extra mile and invite these and other pollinators into your garden. One of the best ways to support bees is to give them a place to go and a reason to hang out there. Pollinators thrive on flower nectar and pollen, so designate an area just for them. Even if your space is limited, providing a few containers with a mix of grasses, trees, shrubs and wildflowers is all you need. If you have a spot with at least six hours of sun, then you have adequate space for growing pollinator-friendly garden plants. And don’t forget to include water sources. Yes, they enjoy gathering at and sipping from shallow pools, mud puddles or birdbaths too, especially butterflies.
The most important aspect of a pollinator garden is, of course, the plants. I recommend going native whenever possible since these plants are well-suited to your native pollinator species and also your climate. But it’s perfectly fine to mix it up. In fact, including a wide range of plants, both native and non-native, is preferred, as diverse plantings are more likely to attract beneficial insects. Appeal to their needs through multiple colors, fragrances and flower forms. For instance, bees see ultraviolet colors and are especially fond of flowers in shades of yellow, purple and blue. They’re also attracted to plants with a sweet fragrance. Include flowers that bloom throughout the seasons and plants that offer both food and shelter. Speaking of shelter, let’s not forget the addition of nesting structures and insect hotels.
To help get you started, below are some of my personal favorites for attracting bees and other pollinators to the garden. And be sure to check the Beesponsible site for plants that are native to your region, and for more tips on how you can take bee-friendly actions at your own home and community.
- White clover
- Bee balm
- Blanket flower
- Black-eyed Susans
- Joe Pye weed
Bees are one of the most important pollinators in the garden. Thank them for their service by giving them a space of their own. And please, please don’t use pesticides or herbicides. The bees will thank you in return with those abundant fruits and veggies!