The news has been buzzing about the decline of our bee populations, and the dramatic consequences their loss could have globally. According to pollinator.org, an estimated 1/3 of all foods and beverages are made possible by pollinators which is nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
Without bees, the produce section would be a lot smaller but did you know that you can help protect the pollinators by creating a pollinator-friendly habitat? LawnAmerica wants to spread the word and share two of the easiest ways to make your space more pollinator friendly.
Plant a Pollinator Friendly Space
Choosing an assortment of plants with overlapping bloom periods will provide food for pollinators throughout the season. Here is a list of some native shrubs, trees that bees and other pollinators LOVE:
Early Bloom: Lanceleaf Coreopsis and Smooth Penstemon.
Early Mid Bloom: Wild Indigo.
Mid Bloom: Butterfly Milkweed, Great Blue Lobelia, Joe Pye Weed, Mountain Mint, Purple Coneflower, and Wild Bergamot.
Mid-Late Bloom: Field Thistle, Marsh Blazing Star, and Wingstem.
Late Bloom: Bottle Gentian, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Seaside Goldenrod, Sneezeweed, and Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod.
Shrubs and Trees –
Early: Cockspur Hawthorn, Eastern Redbud, Highbush Blueberry, and Pussy Willow
Mid-Late: New Jersey Tea
You can find more about these plants at here.
Create a Hydration Station:
Don’t forget, like us, bees and other pollinators need water. A single bee visits at least 2,000 flowers daily so as you might expect, bees need lots of water to keep going. During hot summer days, bees will use the water throughout the day to cool down their hive, dissolve crystallized honey, and hydrate after a busy day.
You can help bees stay cool and hydrated by taking a plastic bowl and filling it with water and glass marbles or even rocks. The marbles provide the bees a nice place to land while hydrating.
You can find instructions to build a hydration station here.