Insteading is celebrating National Honey Month, and this felt like a great opportunity to talk about bees! I know, bees can be a little bit scary. They can sting, and they sometimes make the hives in just the wrong part of your garden. But bees are having a tough time of it lately, and our food future depends on those little guys!
The Buzz About Bees
When they’re not making honey, bees are busy pollinating. In fact, honeybees pollinate over 90% of the flowering plants that we eat. Sure, bees pollinate flowers, but these flowering plant include food crops that we rely on, like fruits, nuts, broccoli, and many types of bean. Without bees, we’d be facing a major food crisis, and bees are in danger.
There have been a lot of theories behind what’s causing the decline in bee population, often called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), but most experts now seem to agree that pesticides are the #1 culprit in the decline of bees across the world.
So what can you do? There are two ways to help a pollinator out: stop spraying harmful pesticides (and stop supporting companies that do!) and start planting bee-friendly foliage! You don’t need a yard to make a happy bee habitat. A balcony or window box will do the trick!
Bee Friendly Plants
So what can you plant? Pollinators love flowering plants, edible and inedible alike. Here’s a nice mix of plants that will make bees happy!
- Lavender – Looks and smells lovely
- Rosemary – Smells great, and you can trim it back to use in recipes whenever you need! Rosemary is an easy plant to maintain.
- Sunflowers – What’s cheerier than a big, sunflower face?
- Butterfly Bush – Not only are these gorgeous, but they’re easy to maintain!
- Strawberries – Whether you plant a patch or grow these in a pot, they’ll make you and the bees happy!
Of course, there are lots of other bee-friendly plants out there, and the best way to attract pollinators is to plant a variety or options for them to buzz around.
Do any of you guys have bee gardens? I’d love to hear what you’re growing in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by supersum