It's never, ever, ever, too early (or too late) to begin thinking and planning for bees in your garden. Of course when I say bees, I really mean all the pollinators!
Of course, I appreciate all the pollinators at Clay and Limestone, but, my favorite are the Bumble Bees. They won my heart dozens of years ago when I notice how hard they worked. They were always the first pollinators up and about in the garden each morning and the last to leave each night. They weren't picky about flowers and visited any nectar and pollen producer I planted.
They were a joy to watch and made me smile. I found them sleeping on cool spring and autumn mornings (yes, you can gently touch them) and watched them nectaring and gathering pollen on the last of the ex-asters late in November. They were the hardest working creatures in my garden and I wanted to learn as much as I could about them.
I learned that they are generalist and will visit almost any nectar and pollen producing plant, but, like all creatures, they do seem to appreciate a varied diet, so I have planted dozens of different native plants for them to choose among!
I always knew they were gentle, but, I learned they did not swarm and rarely stung.
I discovered that they are major pollinators in vegetable gardens and orchards~if you want tomatoes, you need bumbles and if you love orchard crops, berries, watermelon, sunflowers and other fruits you also need bumbles. They pollinate 1/3 of what we eat and that 80% of the world's crops are dependen upon them for pollination.
I read that Bumbles and other native bees prefer yellow, purple, blue, violet and white flowers~But, I've seen them on almost every colored flower in my garden.I also learned that their numbers are decreasing and that gardeners are important partners in helping them make a comeback. There's lots we can do~We can plant for them, we can provide water and shelter from the elements; we can provide nesting sites for them,
But, there's one thing that we must never do~We must absolutely never, ever, ever use pesticides in our gardens. I mean never!
|Their future is in our hands|
In case you want to read earlier pollinator posts~
Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)
Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
We can't All Be Pretty Pollinators (here)
Eye, Eye Skipper, Big Eyed Pollinators (here)
What's In Your Garden (here)
Royalty In The Garden~Monarch Butterfly (here)
Carpenter Bees (here)
It's Spring and A Gardener's Thoughts Are On Pollinators (here)
The Wildflower and The Bee (here)
A Few Good Reasons To Plant Milkweek (here)
Got Shade? You Can Have Pollinators ( (here)
A Pollinator friendly Shrub (here)
Big Goings On at C and L (here)
Where Have All My Pollinators Gone (here)
Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies ( here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone."