Bee Hive Blog

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Plant a bee-friendly garden



The bad news: Colony collapse disorder (CCD), the global epidemic of diminishing bee populations, is a real and serious matter – especially considering that bees are essential for one out of three bites of food we eat.
The good news: Making a difference can start in your own backyard. Follow these steps and you’ll create a garden that’s both beautiful and beneficial.
Step 1: Begin with organic starts or untreated seeds to provide good food and a safe haven for bees. Attract honey bees with nectar-producing plants that bloom for a long period or time or at different intervals from spring to autumn. (See a list of bee-attracting flowers, plants, shrubs and trees at the end of this article.)
Step 2: Use alternative pest control methods, like landscaping, and weed by hand. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides, as many are toxic to bees and are thought to be at the core of CCD. Especially detrimental are products containing neonicotinoids, a class of neuro-active insecticides that include acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.
Step 3: Encourage bees by providing a source of fresh water such as a fountain or pond. Native bees will make their home in the sand or in single living units underground. Leave an unmulched space or an undisturbed pile of sand for them to set up housekeeping.
Here’s a partial list of tried-and-true bee attractors:
• Asters • Calliopsis • Clover • Dandelions • Marigolds • Poppies • Sunflowers • Zinnias
• Buttercups • Clematis • Cosmos • Crocuses • Dahlias • Echinacea • English Ivy • Foxglove • Geraniums • Germander • Globe Thistle • Hollyhocks • Hyacinth • Rock Cress • Roses • Sedum • Snowdrops • Squills • Tansy • Yellow Hyssop

Garden Plants 
• Blackberries • Cantaloupe • Cucumbers • Gourds • Peppers • Pumpkins • Raspberries • Squash • Strawberries • Watermelons • Wild Garlic
• Bee Balm  • Borage • Catnip • Coriander/Cilantro • Fennel • Lavender • Mints • Rosemary • Sage • Thyme

• Blueberry • Butterfly Bush • Button Bush • Honeysuckle • Indigo • Privet

• Alder • American Holly • Basswood • Black Gum • Black Locust • Buckeyes • Catalpa • Eastern Redbud • Fruit Trees (especially Crabapples) • Golden Rain Tree • Hawthorns • Hazels • Linden • Magnolia • Maples • Mountain Ash • Sycamore • Tulip • Poplar • Willow


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Planting a Bee-friendly Garden



It’s officially spring and if there’s one thing everyone can agree on it’s that warmer temperatures and outdoor activities are a welcome sight after months of limited daylight and being stuck indoors. One outdoor activity you can do yourself not only will add some color and beauty to your home or yard but also will benefit a species near and dear to our heart … honeybees!

As temperatures warm, honeybees leave their winter cluster and get back to work buzzing around and making honey. By planting and growing flowers that produce nectar and pollen, your garden will help attract these wonderful creatures. That, in turn, will have an immediate impact on the environment as honeybees help pollinate tons of plants that we use every day.

So which flowers are the best to plant? It’s important to avoid flowers that may prove to have obstacles for the honeybees in accessing the nectar and pollen, such as those with large petals. Honeybees are attracted to flowers that are colorful and have a distinct scent, which is welcome news to gardeners! Flowers that are wild and native are typically the best because of their year-round foilage and blossoms, but that doesn’t mean you need to turn your garden into a wild meadow. Here are some of our favorite plants and flowers that our busy little friends love too:








Bee Balm





Butterfly Bush






Tulip Tree