You’ve heard it everywhere. Save the bees! But you wonder… what does that mean? How can I make an impact? Why should I care?
We started Bench’s Bees & Honey to not only provide tasty raw local honey to our community but to also preserve an ages old relationship between the honey bee and humans. In the past couple years there has been an awareness that has risen to protect and preserve the honey bees. For many years colonies have been dying and there are many beekeepers who have retired or just given up. In our local area there are very few apiaries left. We are all dependent on the honey bee for pollination of plants and trees. Here at Bench’s Bees & Honey, we are trying to do our part by helping to preserve the local honey bee.
Bench’s Bees & Honey is located next to many local parks, reserves and other conservation land. We are located in a rural farm community with lots of clover, alfalfa and other flowering crop fields. There are many local orchards nearby. All of which are perfect habitats for honey bees. Bench’s Bees & Honey uses local community ties to build a business that not only helps us grow financially but that also gives back to the community and helps the environment.
So… what can you do to help? Simple! Bees are suffering from malnutrition, and planting bee-friendly flowers gives them a place to nourish themselves and their hive.
Plan for blooms season-round. Plant at least three different types of flowers to ensure blooms through as many seasons as possible, thus providing bees with a constant source of food. For example:
- Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac provide enticing spring blooms.
- Bees feast on bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta in the summer.
- For fall, zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod are late bloomers that will tempt foragers.
Select single flower tops such as daisies and marigolds, rather than double flower tops such as double impatiens. Double headed flowers look showy but produce much less nectar and make it much more difficult for bees to access pollen.
Rethink your lawn. Replace part or all of your front lawn grass with flowering plants, which provides food and habitat for bees and other wildlife.
Live in a home without a garden? You need only a small plot of land—it can even be a window container or rooftop—to create an inviting oasis for bees. Every little bit can help to nurture bees and other pollinators.
Why should you care? Bees are responsible for pollinating one in every three bites of food we consume. Sadly, because of pesticides, parasites and malnutrition, bees are dying off—jeopardizing the production of food that sustains human life.