Pollinators — especially bees — are the invisible workers that make every garden thrive. While bee populations have been declining for 15 years, recent years have seen entire colonies abandon their hives overnight in a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder — while the causes are complex and still not entirely known, several factors include disruption of natural habitats, lack of bee-friendly flowers, widespread use of pesticides, and diseases/parasites.
Honey bees and pollinators are responsible not only for pollinating our gardens, but nearly 1/3 of the world’s crops, and it is vitally important that as gardeners, we steward the spaces bees need to survive. Choosing bee-friendly plants (PDF link), plants free of neonicotinoids, and creating pollinator-friendly habitats are easy steps that professional and amateur gardeners can take to not only save the bees, but ensure your garden is full of beautiful blooms and foods.
The greater MSP area is taking action in different ways too — from the Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives campaign, to keeping bees on the MIA’s roof, to more urban beekeepers making honey. As the effects on our gardens and our food become more visible, so does the fight to keep our spaces bee-friendly.
Home Sown Gardens is happy to create pollinator-friendly habitats as part of its bed installation and renewal service. Pollinator-friendly habitats mean lots of flourishing, beautiful flowers!
Bees in the news:
Vox.com — A new theory for why the bees are vanishing (March 9, 2015)