Sunday, June 14, 2009

I am so BUZZED

Make honey
Like flowers
Stingy litte suckers
Loud and buzzy
Make some us (me) scream and run in fear for our lives like little girls despite enormous size difference.

Whatever your feelings about bees there has been a noticable decline in bee populations in North America and other parts of the world due mainly to something called Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD has been blamed for bees disappearing in huge numbers for unknown reasons. Numerous studies have been done researching pesticides, viruses and bacteria, electromagnetics and starvation but have not been conclusive as to the causes of CCD. While those of us who are afraid of them welcome this because we are no longer frequently seen running and screaming around our yard like a crazy person, this is a serious issue.

What do bees do besides make one of my favorite food of all time, honey? The pollinate flowers and crops.

What happens if they don't pollinate? Major agricultural issues will arise such as food shortages.

So what can we do as gardeners? There is a foundation called The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation that is working on research and suggesting ways to help. Here is the link for their main website:

Plants for Native Bees in North America
If you are from California from the main site go under "Publications" then "Plant Lists" to see more specific plants from your region.

Some of the plants included in the list are commonly found ones from either Home Depot or Lowes such as: Asters, Black Eyed Susan, Lupine, Rhododendron, Sage and Sunflowers. Basil, Rosemary, English Lavendar, Hyssop and Marjoram are also considered to be bee friendly.

Get planting to save our little black and yellow, buzzy frenemies!

Photo courtesy of Leif Richardson of The Xerces Society.

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