“Bee” Bee Friendly
Maybe you have heard the recent buzz (see what I did there?) about the importance of bees to our ecosystem and the threats that are depleting bee populations. If you haven’t, we wanted to take the opportunity to get you up to speed. While bees may be a nuisance to some and terrifying to others, they are actually one of the most important insects around. A whopping one-third of the foods we consume depend partially on bee pollination! If bee populations continue to be depleted, we could lose some of our favorite foods. Can you imagine a world without strawberries, watermelons, apples, or cocoa (did you read CHOCOLATE there)?! Those are just a fraction of the fruits and vegetables that rely on bee pollination in order to survive. There are MANY more. You can check out a much longer list of many of the plants that are threatened here.
What is hurting the bees you may ask? Bee populations have been in danger for a while, but are actually better off now than they were five years ago. According to sciencenews.org, 45% of bee colonies were lost in 2013. Last year, that percentage was down to 32%. Although things may be improving, there is still a significant threat to bee colonies around the world. Scientists have been trying to figure out the main cause of bee depletion for many years and have not been able to identify a single cause, but there are four culprits that they have identified that contribute–poor nutrition, pesticides, pathogens and parasites.
Now you may be asking, what does all of this have to do with you? You can contribute to bee health and combat poor nutrition by planting bee-friendly plants. And you are in luck! We have many of those bee-friendly plants in stock in our garden center. We love helping the bees with our perennial house, and we have two active hives on the property! Maybe you already have pollinators planted in your own garden, or even in containers on your deck or patio. Here are some of the best and easiest to grow bee-friendly plants to start with or to add to your garden:
- Black-eyed Susan
- Bluebeard (Caryopteris)
- Lamb’s ear
- Redbud (tree)
If you would like a more exhaustive list of plants that are native to NC that are bee-friendly, check out this page. Come see us, buy some beautiful flowering plants, plant them, make your garden more beautiful, AND help save the bees (and chocolate)!