The honeybees in my garden are very busy gathering nectar from the plants. I think the cooler temps have made them a bit frantic as they are buzzing about my head if I obstruct their flight path to the flowers. My local nursery has put all their perennials on sale and I have added to the garden some bee favorites: Joe Pye Weed, anise hyssop, bee balm and verbena. A word of caution about buying plants this late in the season, most are terribly pot bound and will have a bit more transplant shock than those bought earlier in the year. Look for plants that have healthy foliage and not many flowers. Be sure to water daily and if they continue to look stressed, meaning wilty, snip off all the blooms, to force energy to the roots. Planting at this time of year is basically planning ahead for next year's garden, by getting the new plants into the ground to form strong roots before winter.
I have been increasingly concerned about the honeybee populations and read the recent article in the August 19, 2013 issue of Time magazine, A World without Bees, by Bryan Walsh. I have a link to the partial article but you will have to subscribe to Time to read it in total http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2149141,00.html In summary, pesticides called neoniotinoids used by commercial agricultural farms are poisoning hives and causing massive bee die offs. Another honeybee stressor seems to fall square onto commercial agriculture as well, which is the monoculture of corn & wheat production, neither having significant pollen production to support the bees. The overall, focus of the article was to increase public awareness that without bees to pollinate, our food supply is seriously threatened. I suppose fear mongering sells magazines but I do believe the decreasing bee population is a real problem.
|Joe Pye Weed|
|Anise Hyssop "Heatwave"|
|"Black Adder" Hyssop|
If you are not sure about which flowering plants will benefit your local honeybee populations take a tour through your neighborhood park or botanical garden, looking for bee laden plants and ask questions. Many nurseries have a staff member that can direct you to the plants they sell that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Your local library will also have gardening books that are a wealth of information, even if you can only manage a five gallon bucket garden on your porch. Take a walk around your neighborhood, it might be enlightening as you never know who is a gardener until you start to look for gardens and gardeners watch bees. Another option is to check in with your local Bee Keepers Association, yep, there is honey everywhere, and these folks will also be most informative. So catch the buzzzzz and bee beneficial!
*remember to click on the pictures for a larger view & see the bees