Spring is on it's way and I have been reminiscing about my garden and a alarming issue that I first learned about two summers ago.
That issue was about and still is about, our nations bee crisis.. It is one that is wide spread, effecting both the U.S and Europe. These vital pollinators are disappearing! and scientist are scrambling to figure out why... Some of their findings in my opinion are well founded and make a lot of sense, although those who are responsible for this crisis I'm sure, would deny it.
I'm a amateur gardener...I like to grow vegetables and flowers and little did I know that a bee crisis was happening in my neck of the woods....
after reading some articles on this issue in a couple of garden magazines, I decided that I could help play a part in helping out these little creatures by choosing flowers that they would enjoy the most..such as...
Hyssop, Red Clover, Bee balm, Lavender, Purple Coneflowers, Sun flowers and Cosmos to name a few.
Squash, tomatoes, peppers, chives, radish, and a few carrots shared a place in a couple of containers. I was excited as I often am when I plant something and wait for it's turn out...
But my excitement turned in to disappointment...It would be a bad year for gardening, for the weather took forever to warm up here in Michigan and when it finally did.. there were No.. Honeybees to be found!
Bumble bees frequent the Honeysuckle and Wiegela shrubs.. showing little interest in anything else...
once and a while one or two would fly over to the other areas in the yard and I thought perhaps that just maybe there was some hope for my pathetic little garden, but I saw no changes in my vegetable production.
My squash would not flower and the buds fell off.. My cucumbers were nubs and the peppers, radish and carrots were stunted.
Every day when I found the opportunity I would sit for hours watching different areas of my garden for these Honeybees while taking notes in my garden journal.
It was mid summer when I begin to see a few and by a few I mean about Six!....Six Honey bees and about four native ( Mason bees). These numbers did not increase through out the whole summer! and neither did the plant population in my garden.
The only veggies that did fair well were my tomatoes.. Sweet 100's and Early girl.
It is possible that the weather and missing bees both played a part in my garden disaster..However if the weather had turned out perfect..I was still going to have a garden flop!.. evident by the lack of bees!
I had my first experience with our Honey bee crisis! and I'm currently studying once again what plants to grow in my garden this year to help out these VITAL little creatures..they are CRUCIAL to our SURVIVAL and our PLANET and I have included a few links so that you may learn more about this serious crisis! and how you can help because... They Need Us and We Need Them! ...
The web is full of helpful information on this subject... Here's a few that I found quite interesting and informative: please visit the web pages below......
Why the Bees are Dying:
Why Make yours a bee Garden?
Bee Pollinator Partnership:
Jessica of a Girl Growing Southern supplied this information:
Plant Diversity helps bees:
Diana of the voice in the garden..http://voiceinthegarden.blogspot.com ) has some awesome photos of a Honey bee colony rescue from a fallen oak tree on her property.