Don’t fret if you don’t see honey bees in your yard.
According to this piece by Eric Atkins, there are dozens of other kinds.
All are important. All are pollinators.
And they want to live in the messy bits of your garden.
So make sure you have a few messy bits.
Piles of rocks and sticks.
Also a fairie beach does not go amiss…
General rule of thumb appears to be this: don’t over-rake, over-prune or anally tidy every last bit of the outdoors.
If you must be anal, you can always go inside and clean your house.
As for those honeybees…seems we ought not to become amateur bee keepers as we risk doing more harm than good in spreading disease and parasites.
In other words: leave beekeeping to the pros.
And create friendly environments instead for all those OTHER bees, i.e. leafcutters, bumblebees, sweaters and miners.
Bonus: because the natural world is naturally diverse, to allow a bit of the ‘natural’ will result in fewer bad bug infestations.
—when buying plants and seeds, check with the grower or nursery about use of neonicotinoids. More and more growers are choosing not to use them, but only because more and more people are asking questions and raising a fuss.
Raise a fuss.
The bees will thank you.
And we’ll continue thanking the bees.
As we should.
Without them we’re pretty much landscaped toast.
“If you are like me, learning about bees will change your life. I’m not suggesting that you’ll drop everything and devote yourself to studying insects (though that is possible). What I have in mind is more subtle: a new alertness, a quickening of wonder. Little things that, in the past, have slipped by almost without notice will now demand that you stop and pay attention to them. The hum of wings: whose wings? An insect darting among the flowers: is it a bee or a beefly, a bumblebee or a wasp? What is it doing? Where is it headed? True, it may take you a bit longer to water the petunias or pick the beans, but in those few stolen minutes, you will have been on safari. Gradually, you will begin to sense that a garden is not just a bunch of plants set out in pots and rows: it is a world within a world, a half-tamed ecosystem, full of some of the most exotic and astonishing creatures on the planet.”
—from Bees: nature’s little wonders, by Candace Savage (Greystone Books, 2008)