As you’ve probably heard, the bee population is at risk. Beekeepers have reported up to a 90 percent colony die-off, according to Greenpeace. Bees are among the world’s most important pollinators, and are vital for the majority of food crops across the globe.
Here are a few practical steps to help save them and replenish the species this spring, starting with our own backyard.
Kill the Pesticides
Cutting out pesticides in gardens and yards will greatly benefit bee populations, because they are major culprits in the mass die-off of bees.
Reverse Habitat Loss with Pollinator Gardens
The second biggest cause of bee disappearance is habitat loss due to urbanization and other factors. With habitat loss, bees simply can’t locate natural food sources.
Fortunately, planting flowers that bees love, whether in your garden, front yard, backyard, or even in pots on your apartment porch, will help create a new habitat for them.
Start with These Five Plants
These bee-friendly plants are native to Delaware and easy for knowledgeable landscapers to get their hands on:
1. Scarlet bee balm – A tall, clump-forming perennial that flourishes in sunny and slightly shaded areas, it needs moist soil to grow.
2. Calendula – Some of the first flowers to bloom in spring, these are bright orange or yellow, easy to grow and low-maintenance. These are especially important for foraging bees.
3. Black-eyed Susan – Needing full sun to partial shade, these perennials bloom in dry to moist soil starting in June.
4. Various goldenrod species – Depending on the type, goldenrod can bloom from summer through fall, typically preferring full sun and well-drained conditions.
5. Various sunflower species – From giant sunflowers to ox-eyed sunflowers, these grow in full sun to part shade conditions.
More bee-friendly, springtime planting and landscaping ideas are available at Borsello Landscaping, 720 Yorklyn Rd., Suite 5, Hockessin. For more information, go to borsellolandscaping.com.
— Mike Borsello, owner of Borsello Landscaping