Bee friendly gardening

Mon. May. 18, 2015

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Bee friendly gardening

The bee decline or colony collapse continues to make headlines.  Just recently it was reported that beekeepers lost 42% of their colonies.  They do reproduce but that loss is the 2nd highest in 9 years.  Scientists, while continuing to debate all they “Whys” are actively researching more ways to counteract the collapse.

In the meantime, we can do our small part and plant to attract bees.

Monarda aka Bee Balm (I know, makes sense doesn’t it?!) is one of the top bee attractors and beautiful to boot!

Monarda 'Jacob's Cline'

The above picture is my Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’.  It’s a gorgeous red that smells marvelous and, although it was supposed to stay put, does not.  That’s very typical.  I don’t mind because this beauty did not get powdery mildew!

Last year I planted some trial plants from Ball Horticulture including the new ‘Balmy Purple’ monarda.  It did not do well for me, I won’t plant it again.  What has done well and the bees like is Purple flowering onion or Allium ‘Globemaster’.  It’s gorgeous.

Allium - Globemaster
Allium – Globemaster

As promised, here’s a list of neonicotinoids and their brand names from Honey Love.

The native Purple Prairie Clover (Prairie Nursery is out of Wisconsin) has a lot to offer.  A bee attractor that also delivers nitrogen back into the soil and has sweet little purple and yellow flowers that bloom in July and August on 1 to 2 foot stalks.

Purple Prairie Clover from Prairie Nursery

The Cup Plant is also a great native that the birds love too.  It does prefer moister soils and can grow up to 5 feet.

Cup Plant

I’ll have more on pollinator plants coming up this week.

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