In the winter of 2006 the honey bee population began to die out. Since then, as much as
70% of some bee populations have died as a result of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Seventy farm grown crops, about one-third of our natural food supply, rely on honey
bees for pollination. Imagine peanut better without jelly. If the honey bees disappear, so
will the grapes and the strawberries, along with many of the other foods that have
become not only favorites, but staples of the modern diet. You can help restore the
honey bee population with a bee friendly garden.
It isn’t difficult to make your yard, garden or even patio space a haven for beneficial
bees. You’ll be helping these important insects, as well as bringing more nature to your
The greater the plant diversity, the more bees you will attract and support. Always try to
choose as many native plants as possible, and consult with nursery staff or other
experts to find vegetation that will thrive in your specific conditions.
Honey Bee Friendly Plants. Attract and nourish honey bees with nectar producing
plants. Wild flowers, including asters, goldenrod, sunflowers, even dandelions will
provide food for the hives, and the native bee population as well. Plant flowering
vegetables and fruits.
Plant Long Blooming Flowers or a variety of plants that will bloom at different times
throughout the spring and fall. Honey bees need to eat until they retreat to their hives for
the winter. Try to group at least ten bee plants in a bunch or grouping.
Honey Bees Need Water: Provide a pond, a fountain, or some other fresh water
source. Not only do the bees need nectar, they need water as well.
Native bees will make their homes in sand. Provide a space in your garden for
native bees to make their home. Native bees do not live in hives, but in single living
units underground. Leave a space in your garden un-mulched for them to gain access
and set up housekeeping. A pile of undisturbed sand will work as well.
No Pesticides or Herbicides. Do not use pesticides and herbicides. Some of them
are toxic to bees, and some aren’t. Many of them will leave a toxic residue for days or
weeks. It is better to introduce good bugs to provide natural protection against pests,
and to weed by hand.
Following is a partial list of tried-and-true bee attractors:
Fruit Trees (especially
Golden Rain Tree