Honey, It's Not About You
At Wit’s End, we’re not alone when we talk about gardening for bees. Protecting bees matters because they are key to pollination.
But chances are, most of us are rooting for the honey bee, which is the ‘wrong’ bee. Truth is, it’s not the honey bee that we need to be most concerned about.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for honeybees and honey! But there are 4000 native bees that do a heck of a lot more work pollinating than that sweet little import, the honey bee. In fact, as far as pollinating goes, the honey bee is a bit of a slacker. A hundred orchard mason bees pollinate as much in a day as a thousand honey bees.
Native bees come in all shapes and sizes. From the fluffy bumble to the tiny sweat bee. Some are specialized to the plant they pollinate (like the Blueberry bee). Others are busy all season pollinating everything that looks nummy.
To help the native bees, take these three steps:
1. Plant native plants
2. Have something blooming spring through fall. A garden with Amsonia, Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Monarda and Aster works well in most parts of the country.
3. Skip the pesticides. The native bees and the honey bees will both appreciate it.