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Bee Informed

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

Last week my blog was about supporting our wildlife.  I concentrated this blog on our need to support our beloved hummingbirds.  I learned a lot when writing the blog.  Now, I want to continue this theme with supporting our wildlife and concentrate this blog on our bees.  There is so much that we can learn and do to support our pollinators.

Honeybees are getting a lot of attention and they are a special kind of bee.  But, they are not the only bees (or even the only pollinator) out there who are in trouble.  Have you heard of the Mason bee?  Mason bees are incredible pollinators for spring flowering fruit and nut trees as well as berries and flowers.  They are harmless to humans.  They rarely sting (in fact, males have no stingers), and stings are similar to a mosquito bite.  A single mason bee visits around 2,000 blossoms each day.

Now that it is mid-April there is a lot of planting happening right now with annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.  When selection plants, how about thinking about our pollinators and choose plants that best support our bee population and give them the support that they deserve and need.  In addition, keep in mind to plant plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season in order to give our pollinators this needed support from now through late fall.

To help you with the plant selection, here is a list of plants to consider:

ANNUALS: Marigolds, Poppies, Asters, Sunflowers. Zinnias, Lantana, Verbena

PERENNIALS: Asclepias tuberosa “Butterfly Weed”, Achillea “Yarrow”, Aquilegia “Columbine”,  Coreopsis “Tickseed”, Eutrochium “Joe-pye-weed”, Iris virginica “Blue Flag iris”, Lobellia “Cardinal flower”,Monarda “Beebalm”,Rudbeckia “Black-eyed Susan”, Symphiotrichium “Asters”, Echinacea “Coneflower”, Digitalis “Foxglove”, Sedum

HERBS: Catnip, Borage, Bee Balm, Cilantro, Fennel, Lavender, Mints, rosemary, Sage, Thyme

VINES: Bignonia “Crossvine”, Gelsemium “Carolina Jessamine”, Campsis “Trump-et Creeper”, Decumaria “Climbing Hydrangea”, Lonicera “Coral Honeysuckle”, Parthenocissus “Virginia Creeper”, Wisteria “American Wisteria”

SHRUBS: Aronia “Chokeberry”, Callicarpa Americana “Beauty-berry”, Clethra “Pepperbush”, Ilex verticillata “Winterberry”, Ilex glabra “Inkberry”, Itea virginica “Sweetspire”, Abelia grandiflora “Glossy abelia”,

TREES: Koelreuteris “Golden raintree”,  Vitex agnus “Chase tree”, Chionanthus virginicus “White Fringe tree”, Cercis Canadensis “ Eastern Redbud”, Oxydendrum arboretum “Sourwood”, Magnolias, Hawthorns

BEE INFORMED MAKES A HAPPY GARDENER !!!

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