While my garden is my reprieve—a place to recharge—I like to share it with my sweet, bee friends, and at this time of year the garden is a-buzzzz with bees. Did you know that there are over 4,000 native species of bees in North America? Talk about diversity! Some bees are generalists, like the European honeybee, collecting pollen from a number of various plants, while other bees are specialists, like squash bees that pollinate specific plants-squash and pumpkins. We need these hard-working, fuzzy heroes to pollinate!
Over the years, I have made little improvements to make my garden more inviting to bees—a few seeds here and there, larkspur, borage, thyme, and asters to name a few, which keep the garden humming. A well-placed shallow water dish with rocks placed in it for landing on provides needed water for busy, thirsty bees (and butterflies), keeping them in the garden longer. Growing flowering plants that bloom from early spring to frost gives bees year-round food in the form of pollen and nectar. I also added a smattering of natives, which generally provide the highest quality food for these fuzzy foragers. Your space doesn't have to be large; a container on a patio or a window box can still attract a plethora of pollinators.
Bee population decline is a serious issue that we can all help to remedy by providing food, water, and habitat. Most Botanical Interests flowering plants provide bee food and our Save the Bees Flower Mix and Bee Happy Seed Collection provides color and food for foraging bees from spring until fall. We bee-lieve a small seed can make a big improvement in bee populations.