|Bee with Aster taken 2009|
No doubt we do have a problem in preserving our pollinator, the bee. It has been widely reported that scientists do have several hypothesis regarding CCD. However, those of us who do not have hives can still change certain habits that may very well help our friend survive this battle.
According to the article we need to be proactive and provide a safe place for bees to feed, work and live:
- Allow plants to look a little unsightly. In wintertime, bees and other insects live in our dried out stems and stalks. Who knew? Leaving them until the last minute in springtime allows our friends to have shelter during the cold months. Pat and I can check this one off!!
- Do not use bug zappers. Apparently they kill more beneficials than undesirables. Check...never have owned one.
- Manage pests without pesticides. Most of the time we do this, but Pat will use 7 Dust from time to time.
- Have areas with small rocks so the bees can "bask." Check.
- Have a bee-friendly water source...a shallow water dish with rocks so the bees can drink without drowning. Easily accomplished.
- Provide diverse nectar sources with lots of color and various blooming periods. Check.
- And my favorite: leave bare patches of ground so ground-nesting bees and mud daubers can make their habitat. With as many trees and shade as we have on our place, we have tons of areas that fit this requirement. Check and check.
- I am adding this one: Plant as many native and heirloom plants as possible. Some suggested plants are: Almond verbena; Anise hyssop; Basil; Beebalm; Borage; Chives; Lavender; Mint; Rosemary; Roses; Sage.