Attracting Bees to Your Edible Landscape

Pollinators Welcome artfully weaves bee habitats into edible landscapes. Since bees pollinate most of our fruits and vegetables, it’s only natural that bees should be the focus of our gardens. From apricots and zucchini, and willows to asters, picture flowers blooming throughout the season feeding our eyes, noses, stomachs and hearts, while making room for the most essential creatures on our planet. What would we eat without them?

When we grow food organically at home, where grass used to be, we: eat more nutritiously, increase the local food supply, reduce our carbon footprint, create less pollution, rejuvenate nature, and get to taste incredibly delicious food on a regular basis.  And if that isn’t enough do-gooding, when we combine eating wholesome home grown food with adding pollinator habitat, we increase current and future generations ability to feed itself. The cycle of life is strengthened since more food plant flowers will have viable seeds to continue on. Now that’s a mouthful!

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Provide pithy and hollow-stem nesting for native bees. Tunnel-nesting bees are great pollinators of early-blooming fruits and will lay their eggs in hollow tubes such as bamboo, paper tubes and drilled holes, and the pithy stems of staghorn sumac, raspberry and elderberry.

Reduce lawn area and plant wildflowers instead. Reducing lawns by planting a native wildflower border at least three feet wide around them creates more habitat for pollinators. Also, raise your mower height to 4 inches and overseed with clover and other bee-attracting flowering plants.

Connect with neighbors’ habitats. Connectivity of habitat is good for all wildlife, including pollinators. They can find larger areas to mate, lay eggs and visit flowers you plant for them. Consider joining with your neighbors to plant along your property lines.

Join a Pollinator Protection group. Organizations that have stepped up to face this issue include the Pollinator Partnership, the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, Friends of the Earth, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

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