• Fall in Love with Bees: A Quick Start Guide for a Bee-Friendly Fall Garden

    Okay, so most of us cringe at the memory of the first time a bee stung us as a kid. For some people that memory morphs into fear, but most of us know that bees are incredibly important to our environment. Fall landscaping can be both solo relaxation and family fun. Planting a bee-friendly garden in your backyard can help reduce and even eliminate the irrational fear of bees, while also giving your family home-grown foods never contaminated by toxic and harsh pesticides.

    Urban neighborhoods can can help the bees by installing bee hotels.

    Planting a bee garden requires thought and planning, but it’s not as hard as one might think. And having bees around may sound scary, especially for those that remember that painful first sting. But in reality, bees are so important for not just the environment, but for our economy and our enjoyment. (Bees play a crucial role in creating chocolate!)

    Bees Need Our Help

    Unfortunately, recent studies show that bees, as a species, are in danger. Around the globe, their populations are in decline. Planting a fall garden will help bees in your area make it through the winter. You can give bees a constant source of food by planting and nurturing flowers that bloom from early spring until late fall. Sedum and goldenrod are two vibrant, intricate flowers that can help bees during the late summer and fall.

    Truthfully, bees sting far less frequently than we think. Very few people realize that some entire bee species don’t even sting at all. That fear is one part of a complex situation where the future of bees is unknown. When you create a year-round bee garden, you are also helping to combat the leading cause of death in bees — a situation that scientists don’t quite understand — Colony Collapse Disorder. So when you keep bees in mind while garden, you are not just enriching your life and the lives of your loved ones — you are also saving lives.

    When you create a year-round bee garden, you are also helping to combat the leading cause of death in bees — a situation that scientists don’t quite understand

    Plant A Year-Round Garden

    In certain climates, people can see bees zipping around the yard as deep into winter as January. Planting fruits and vegetables that produce buds or flowers can really grab the bees’ attention. Grow these plants during the fall to create a beautiful garden, enjoy fresh, home-grown vegetables and create a new or sustained activity that can bring your family closer, while also making the environment healthier.

    Keep in mind the amazing recipes you can bring to your kitchen table because of your fall bee garden! You can create a crisp salad or fruit-based dessert with ingredients grown right in your own backyard and pollinated by your local bees. Other things to keep in mind when planting a bee-friendly garden:

    • Pick plants that have single-flower tops, giving bees easier access to pollen.
    • Plant native plants that are local to your area and thrive in your climate.
    • Choose perennials or plants with blooms that last a long time.
    • Bees need a variety of plants that flower to feed on, but we all know that only certain plants like certain seasons. Ivy and shrub willows can help bees pollinate early and late parts of the year.

    Fall is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the crisp, cool outdoors. As we wave goodbye to summer and watch as the days get shorter and winter approaches, we can still enjoy gardens and yards filled with bold fall colors and buzzing with life.

    Author: Christy Erickson – SavingOurBees.org

    Saving Our Bees is committed to collecting and distributing the most accurate and up-to-date resources on the bee crisis and information on how to help in your own community. Let’s come together, be impactful, and save our bees!

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