In the last ten years alone, the U.S. has lost more than 50% of its managed honeybee colonies. What most people don’t realize is that these numbers mean there’s been a tremendous negative impact on the level of production for the more than 150 crops grown each year in the U.S. This includes apples, berries, squash, almonds, and much more. While the reality of the problem is disturbing, the good news is that these simple tips can help increase the bee population — starting within your very own yard.
Plant native flowers
It’s been proven that bees respond best to the flowers with which they’re most familiar. For Alabama, that means bees are most attracted to flowers such as Asters, sunflowers, oak leaf hydrangea, and even mint. Remember, the more wildflowers you plant, the more bees you’ll attract.
Skip the rainbow and plant what bees like
While we may be drawn to certain flowers because of their beauty and fragrance, most bees are attracted to flowers because of their nectar and pollen. However, studies show that bees are also more attracted to flowers of certain colors, such as white, yellow, blue, and purple.
Plant flowers with single petals
Bees tend to be more attracted to flowers with a single row of petals, as opposed to flowers with more than one row. This is likely because single-petaled flowers produce more pollen than other flowers, therefore providing bees with more food.
Rotate blooms through the seasons
There’s no point in planting all of your garden flowers at the same time only to have them bloom and die at the same time too. Help sustain the bees for a greater period by planting a variety of flowers that will continue to bloom throughout the spring, summer, and even fall.