Monday 5 May 2014

Being a Bee Smart Gardener

Sadly, the bees are playing hard to find and is not a happy event as we need their pollinating expertise.
I won`t share with you the facts of their struggles as a species but instead, share some ideas to help boost the bee populations.Here is what we can do:

a) plant and create green spaces in our urban areas,leave patches of bare soil,rocks and piles of brush for use as a habitat for ground-dwelling native bees. If possible,plant caterpillar host plants so as to provide pollen and nectar throughout the growing season.

b) install bee dwellings around your yard by drilling holes in wood blocks. Lee Valley sells bee homes if you wish to purchase a commercial variety.

c) plant woody plants such as elderberry,raspberry, and sumac as these branches have soft insides and
when cut back, expose the softness for the bees to nest in.

d) eliminate or change the way you apply pesticides. Do not use them on plants that are blooming.Apply
them at night when bees are much less active. Spray from the ground level upwards to the top to reduce drift to neighboring agricultural areas.

e) place pollinator habitat signs around pastures,community gardens,city parks,bike trails or town yards
to promote conservation.

f) plant herbs such as lavender,thyme, and catmint as well as, perennials like buttercup,asters, hollyhocks, and hardy geraniums and lastly, plant annuals such as poppies, sunflowers,and sweet alyssum.

Check out the new pollinator patch being developed at the Wilderness Park just outside of Bobcaygeon along
Highway 36 N. This patch may give you some ideas for plants you might grow in your yard.
Check out the website for the Wilderness Park: www.wilderness

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