National Geographic : 2009 Jun
Bee a friend ement A Backyard Guide Honey bee populations are disappearing, and Häagen-Dazs® ice cream hopes you'll join our mission to keep these petite pollinators buzzing. All of us can play a part in helping the honey bee---starting in our own backyards. Planting a beautiful bee-friendly flower garden can actually increase native honey bee populations. Here are a few simple tips to get started. Favorites Among Bees Include: vender • glory-bushes • jasmine • rosemary • coreopsis • violets • • thyme • wisteria • uebells • trumpet vine • sunflowers • cosmos • • coneflowers • ❀ START WITH THE RIGHT PLANTS Just like you, honey bees have their favorite flowers. Bees are attracted by color (particularly blue, purple, yellow, and orange) and scent. But it's even more important to select flowering plants rich in nectar and pollen. Be sure to provide bees easy access to these sought-after resources by selecting single-flower plants. THINK NATIVE When selecting plants for your garden, it's always best to think native---plants that naturally occur in a specific region with which the bees in your area already have a historical relationship. Your local nursery can help you select plants that are not only known to attract bees but also native to your region. MIX IT UP Bees favor gardens with a greater diversity of plants. At the same time, planting large patches of like plants within the garden space is a good idea to ensure maximum bee attractiveness. And be sure to choose a variety of plants that bloom successively from early spring to fall to provide a constant source of nectar and pollen. GO WILD Clover and dandelion may be weeds to you, but not to honey bees. Allowing a small section of your garden to grow wild will increase your chances of attracting bees. PROVIDE A COOL DRINK OF WATER Bees need water, too. A shallow birdbath or water feature can provide bees the reliable and continuous source of fresh water needed to keep the hive healthy and active. BEE KIND When you're debating whether to spray or not to spray, remember the use of chemical pesticides can have an adverse effect on more than just their intended target--- including honey bees. ©HDIP, Inc.