Over the last couple of years, honeybees have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Seeing as the buzzing creatures are responsible for pollinating many of our nation's crops, including a wide range of fruits and vegetables, their disappearance is a crisis. According to Zac Browning, VP of the American Beekeeping Federation, “Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food." It's not all out of our hands, though. There are actually a few things you — yes, you — can do about it. It all has to do with growing bee-friendly flowers in your garden, windowsill, or your community park. To learn a few of these tips,
- This one may sound like a big fat DUH, but, don't use pesticides! Pesticides kill insects.
- Plant nectar and pollen-producing flowers. Try geraniums, iris, foxglove, cosmos, zinnias, snowdrops, sunflowers, dahlias, asters, marigolds, hyacinths, crocuses, daisies, marigolds, daffodils, tulips, valerian, or catmint.
- Since bees can see ultraviolet, colors like blue, purple, orange, and yellow are more attractive to them, but they cannot see red. So, plant flowers based on those colors as a guide.
- Grow flowers that bloom over a range of seasons. This way, there will be food for the bees year-round.
- Plant large patches of flowers in close proximity to one another.
- Also, planting 10 or more species of plants will attract the largest number of bees.