Chances are, you’ve read an article recently or watched a news story talking about honey bee health. It’s a topic on quite a lot of people’s minds, from researchers to educational institutions to beekeepers. Everyone in the industry is doing what they can to make sure our honey bees are healthy and able to pollinate crops and produce all-natural honey.
You can help too. One of the challenges facing honey bees in the United States is a lack of diverse food sources. Bees are like humans. They need a diverse diet to be strong and healthy. However, with well-manicured lawns and large parts of the country dedicated to one type of crop, bees lack the floral diversity they need to thrive.
You can change that by dedicating a part of your yard to establishing a pollinator garden. It’s easy to do, will look beautiful and help honey bees, as well as the other native pollinators in your area. Here are some tips from the National Honey Board to get you started.
🐝Find native plants
This is key, as the honey bees in your area will be more attracted to native plants. Go to your local nursery and they will point you in the right direction. When buying flowers for your pollinator garden, there are a couple things to keep in mind.
Plant in groups: You’ll want at least three of the same plant to give honey bees enough nectar for their trip to your garden.
Time your blooms: Pay close attention to when the flowers will bloom and make sure you’re covering the bees’ needs in spring, summer and early fall. If you only get plants that bloom in the spring, the bees will go hungry the rest of the year!
🐝Add a water feature
Like humans, bees need water, and it’s convenient for them to be able to forage for pollen, nectar and water in the same place. A water feature can be as simple as a shallow dish of water. Make sure to add a couple of rocks for the bees to stand on while they drink so they don’t drown.
🐝Think before you spray
Now that you’re attracting honey bees to your yard, make sure to keep pesticides out of your garden.