One of the latest troubling news items this last summer has been the decline of the honeybee. There are evidently several factors causing this. Too many chemicals, pollution, etc.
I was adding that to my list of things to worry about, then figured out all is not lost. The honey bee is a domesticated bee brought here from Europe. It is THE bee used to pollinate commercial food crops. We don’t want to lose it. Just as significant though are the native bees we have around. There are many varieties. We can make a pretty significant amount of difference in the ability of these insects to thrive by providing food and habitat sources for them. I have several varieties of plants that are covered with multiple varieties of bees all summer long. If you get close to these plants, the buzz is audible from a ways away. It’s nearly frightening- except the longer I am around them the more I realize all they are after is the good meal being provided by the flowers on those plants. I can get in the plants to deadhead, weed, or whatever other gardening chore needs to be done and not be harassed by them.
Besides food, bees also need habitat to nest in. Bare earth, undisturbed soil for the ground dwellers. Old tree branches and old flower stalks can be nesting sites for the boring type of bees. (Don’t be too quick to clean up your garden)
And then- NO RANDOM SPRAYING for flying insects. Bees are very sensitive to that sort of thing. I’ve heard commercials glamorizing a bug free yard as being the best for an ideal picnic. I’d much rather have a few pesky flies and know I’m not contributing to the demise of many other beneficial insects than to not have to fan my food.
I’m just beginning to appreciate the benefits of having bees and other insects around. My knowledge about them is minimal. For more information here are a couple of resources.
on Facebook: “Like” the page “Texas Bumblebees”