Bee Power

By Jamie Sloan, Account Manager- DeSantis Landscapes
June 2017

In the Age of Information, knowledge is accessible with a few clicks of a button. However, some current issues remain largely ignored by the mass populace. Protecting and encouraging pollinators in home and commercial gardens is becoming a critical need for sake of all life. Honey bees are most threatened and are on a rapid decline. Current environmental factors, such as: global climate change, heavy pesticide usage, radiation from cell phone towers, fungus, and mites are contributing causes to widespread colony collapse. This alarming fact stimulates a surge of crucial information that can guide us to take appropriate measures to assist in pollinator, and ultimately, species survival.
Planting a pollinator garden is extremely beneficial for our daily nectar seeking visitors. There are many stunning varieties of plants that will host an attractive selection for bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, praying mantis, lady bugs and so on. There are numerous pollinator planting lists available online, but Native plants are a top priority for hosting native pollinators. Oregon grape and Willow varieties help bees in early Spring. Planting varieties that bloom throughout Spring into Autumn is recommended. Bee balm, crocosmia, sage, oregano, yarrow, lavender, catmint etc., are all helpful in pollinator gardens. Not only are the visiting pollinators hungry throughout the growing season, but they also get thirsty. Providing a shallow area of water can be helpful for the pollinators. A bird bath is a great solution, so long as its refreshed often with clean water. A couple of rocks inside birdbath will ensure that they don’t drown if they accidentally submerse their wings.
Please plan for organic weed control in pollinator gardens. Hand weeding is a first choice in edible and pollinator gardens. Also, purchasing plants from “Big-Box” stores is not recommended, as they are known to spray plants with chemicals that deter, and can kill, pollinators. Buying from local, neighborhood nurseries is recommended. They often typically have a better selection and numerous varieties of blooming plants to choose from.
Pollinator gardens offer eco-diversity for our beneficial insects, as well as providing places of interest and serenity for ourselves. It’s a small thing we can do to maintain equity in urban environments. One could even create pollinator container gardens, if space is confined and limited. There is much satisfaction in knowing that we are doing our part to help our environment thrive. Beneficial insects play a key role, and are extremely necessary to keep nature balanced and healthy. Providing a garden area for their production is something to feel good about and you can also get the benefit of edible provisions!

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