I have been hearing a lot about the decline of the honey bee population, and was wondering if there is anything I can do, as just your average gardener, to encourage their well-being.
I do not really want to start a hive, but I would like to know what I can do to help. I live in the suburbs, grow flowers, and do not use any insecticides, but is there more I can do?
One of the most interesting ways I've found to "support" the honey bees is to buy the Haagen-Dazs "Help the Honey Bees" ice cream :)
Average Gardener wants to be kind to bees
Water, water, water! Bees love shallow pans of water (put a rock or some pebles in it so they can crawl down to drink). Be careful with pesticides, if you have to use them, do it at night when they aren't around. You can also plant things they like, Hollyhocks, sunflowers and flowers that have lots of pollen and are easy to get into. They feed their young pollen.
Cool, I just added Hollyhocks to my garden this year :)
Should I be worried about breeding mosquitos by putting out water?
I don't think a few shallow pans of water would make a diffrence in mosquitos, but if it worries you, just change the water every few days.
Guess I probably should do that anyway to keep the water clean :)
The well being of honey bees is determined by several key factors. Besides the important things that the hive requires, bees have to have good fresh water available whenever they need it. Next, they need a variety of flowering plants to obtain nectar and most importantly pollen. The more plants you grow that provide an abundant source of nectar and pollen from organically grown plants, the more prolific the hive they support will flourish. The more fresh, running water and non toxic plants (those grown without petro-chemicals) the more robust the bee will be. Look at this photo, it is of bees from some of my hives that I keep. Here they have a source of nectar and pollen from huge prickly pear cactus I grow in Arizona. This is one of several plants I maintain for my bees. The rewards are amazing, healthy flourishing hives that provide the best tasting honey and pollen you can imagine.
This message was edited Aug 7, 2008 1:51 PM
Universal, that photo is terrific! Did you take that? What lens are you using? I'm assuming you have a DSLR, as shallow a depth of field it has. It's wonderful!