Honeybees are Important for Pollinating your Organic Garden
Help restore the declining population of honeybees by creating your own bee-friendly garden. Bees are in trouble across North America. Honeybee populations have declined about fifty percent since 1945, according to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. During that time the number of crops requiring pollination has doubled. The shrinking bee population has many reasons which include pesticide use, habitat loss, parasites, pathogens, and stress.
There is still hope with a number of remedies home gardeners can do to help.
Stop pesticide use. Of the many pesticides and herbicides (even organic ones ) many of the labels say nothing about toxicity to bees.
Even some organic ingredients (the active ones), like rotenone and spinosad, are deadly to bees. Try planting pest resistant varieties of trees, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers instead. Use netting and supported row covers to protect food crops. If you absolutely need to use pesticides please use organic and spray in the evening when bee activity has ceased.
Honeybees are the only extant members of the Apini tribe all in the Apis genus, there are only seven recognized species with a total of 44 subspecies. Historically anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognized. Primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. They represent only a small fraction of about 20,000 known species of bees. Other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.
Plant Flowers to Attract Bees
Single forms Attract More Bees
Anis hyssop hardy zone 4 to 11
Aster hardy zone 3 to 9
Bee Balm hardy zone 3 to 10
Black eyed Susan hardy zone 4 to 9
Catmint hardy zone 3 to 9
Chrysanthemum hardy (can be annual or perennial depending on species
Columbine hardy zone 3 to 9 by species
Cosmos grown as an annual
Fireweed hardy zone 2 to 9
Goldenrod hardy zone 2 to 9
Ironweed hardy zone 4 to 8
Joe Pye weed hardy zone 3 to 8
Lavender hardy zone 5 to 8
Lobelia hardy 2 to 9 by species
Lupine usually annual but some perennial species
Marigold grown as an annual
Mint hardy zone 3 to 11 by species
Obedient plant hardy zone 2 to 8
Penstemon hardy zone 3 to 11
Pincushion flower hardy zone 4 to 11
Poppy hardy by species annual and zone 2 to 9
Purple coneflower hardy zone 3 to 9
Purple prairie clover hardy zone 3 to 8
Russian sage hardy zone 3 to 9
Sage hardiness by species
Siberian squill hardy zone 3 to 11
Spiderwort hardy zone 4 to 9
Thyme hardy zone 4 to 10 by species
Tickseed by species annual or hardy zone 4 to 9
Wild indigo, false indigo hardy zone 3 to 9 by species
Willow hardy zone 2 to 9
Seventy percent of native honeybees nest in or near the ground. These bees like to nest in areas that are unkempt with brush piles and a nice wild appearing planting of some of the plants listed above. Sixty to eighty percent of the world's flowering plants depend on insects, including bees, for pollination.
The flavor is dependent on the plants that were visited.