Nursing the tail end of a cold, I headed downstairs last night seeking honey laced chamomile tea. I ambled into the kitchen bundled in pajamas and a robe, and to my dismay noticed the honey jar was almost empty. As the kettle was boiling, I attempted to extract the remaining honey, but found that each utensil I chose would not fit into the honey jar. Finally, I found something that worked, and scraped what was left of the honey…and while doing so, realized just what a Pooh Bear moment this was. Ah, but honey is worth it.
My love of honey aside, bees are an important part of our lives and it is quite alarming what we have seen recently with Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD where entire colonies of commercial bees will abruptly disappear. Data is not entirely conclusive, and several theories have been proposed (including pesticides). So what is the good gardener to do to help bees and other pollinators? First, toss the herbicides and pesticides (aka – dispose of them properly through local hazardous waste resources) and vow never to use them again. Next, take a look at The Pollinator Partnership pollinator.org/index.html. They have some fabulous information on their website – including regionally specific guides with tips for helping pollinators pollinator.org/guides.htm. We can help these wee creatures by including food source plants in the garden, access to clean water and for some types of bees, like the mason bee, we can actually provides homes www.masonbeehomes.com/index.php.
Nothing makes me happier than the garden full of life in summer with bumblers, hummingbirds and other pollinators. See what you can do improve your garden for your neighborhood pollinators. Pooh Bear would strongly approve.