We hear so much about how the bees are in trouble, but most people don’t realize that most of this discussion centers around honeybees, which are non-native to this country, but have been imported heavily for use in agricultural pollination, and are now seeing great declines dues to colony collapse disorder.
We need to wake up to the fact that many of our native bees are also in great trouble due to habitat loss, pesticides, and other actions by humans.
Some of our team members have written about the lack of bees in their wildlife gardens with great worry. Ursula Vernon mentioned the lack of bees in her habitat garden, and Karyl Seppala has also written about the fact that she wasn’t seeing any native bees in her wildlife garden.
The truth is, our wildlife gardens are one of the last lines of defense to protect these native pollinators. We can create habitat and provide them with everything they need. Doing so will ensure that all of our beautiful native plants receive the pollination services they need, and even that we have delicious tomatoes and other vegetables growing in our gardens.
Here are some suggestions for creating welcoming habitat for native bees in your wildlife garden:
Attracting Native Bees in the Wildlife Garden
Saving Bumblebees — Ellen Sousa says “At this point, there may not be much we can do at the individual level to save the polar bears, but many of the small but important critters that make their home in our gardens for some or part of the year — the bees,butterflies, moths, turtles, toads, frogs — across the planet, across the board, you’ll find these species listed in high numbers on endangered and declining species lists. They’re all suffering from the same problem – widespread habitat loss and declines due to human activity.”
Pollinators and Native vs Non-Native Plants — Beatriz Moisset explains to us why native plants are essential for pollinator survival.
Attracting Native Pollinators – A wonderful resource for learning all you need to know about attracting native bees and other pollinators to your wildlife garden
Design Tips for your Pollinator Garden — Kelly Brenner has great suggestions for designing a welcoming habitat pollinator garden.
Bee Ready — How to provide the best habitat for native bees in your wildlife garden
Mason Bee Boxes — How to attract Mason Bees to Your Wildlife Garden
How to Attract Pollinators — More tips for creating a pollinator Garden
The Pollinator Garden Through the Seasons
Attracting Bumblebees With Early Spring Blooming Plants — How to choose the best plants to attract early spring pollinators, a time when native flowering plants are crucial for early season pollinators.
Plant Fall Flowering Plants as Pollinator Feeding Stations — How to extend the season throughout autumn in your pollinator garden.
Pollinators in the Winter Wildlife Garden — Even though we don’t see many bees in our winter wildlife gardens, they still need safe places to spend the winter, safe from cold, rain, and snow. Learn how to provide the best habitat for overwintering pollinators.
Native Bees and Our Food Supply
Native Plants, Native Bees, and Your Dinner Table — Why are native plants and native bees so important to our food supply?
Speaking Up For the Pollinators – Susan J Tweit narrates a wonderful video showing how little food would be left for us to eat without our native pollinators.
What are your favorite tips for creating welcoming habitat for native bees in your wildlife garden?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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