Echinacea purpurea " coneflower" are all over our urban potager
Please care about the native pollinators!

This is so important. We all need to care:-) I was reading Eliza Waters post( reblogged from KINDNESS Blog) and also today it was something I noticed on my own city lot. I do not see as many pollinators as I have in the past. I have not seen many butterflies, and only one bumble bee so far this year. I have planted many new pollinator friendly plants that the bees can enjoy throughout the season, but I am seeing fewer! My neighbors still use a lot of chemicals, and I am afraid for the bees:-) please listen  to this TED talk and care:-)

Palm Rae Potager bees + butterfly july 026
Agastache foeniculum is one they just love and it is beautiful in the garden!

If you have a small space even planting a few pollinator friendly plants like Cosmos, Zinnia, Calendula, French Marigolds,Borage  will feed the bees. Try to landscape with native plants when you can, but most of all care…please because we need to….

Kindness Blog

As you may already know, Bees crucial to many crops are still dying at a worrisome rate:

Over the past few years, bee populations have been dying at a rate the U.S. government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food consumed by Americans, including apples, almonds, watermelons and beans, according to government reports.

Redditor ‘mmiu’ shared this lovely piece of advice:

“Summer is coming. If you see a bee on the floor still, it may not be dead, it may be exhausted and need of a drink. Melt some sugar in water to help it.”

First Aid for Bees

To understand a little more about whybees are disappearing, please watch this video and share with your friends below...


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Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

21 comments

  1. They are all hibernating here at the moment but I plan on adding a lot of flowers to our landscape this coming season so hopefully that helps the bees find enough food to carry on around here

    1. me too:-) I have natives tucked into my garden beds, annual bee friendly plants which I started under lights this spring.I started some earlier, so they would be blooming early summer, and they are attracting the smaller bees right now. I have perennials blooming for the native bumble bees, it is a project tring to “choreograph” the blooms so they provide food for them all season from spring to fall! I observed today some very small ones no larger than a “half inch” and they are active right now!

      1. Awesome! I had never seen a bumblebee till we moved to Tasmania. They aren’t native here and were imported but they thrive and buzz around all over the place. Our native flowers tend not to attract the bees all that much so it’s exotics for the bees in my case and drought tolerant ones at that.

      2. I was outside yesterday observing that there are very tiny pollinators we can’t see unless we get up close! I am trying, in my own small way to create “Plant biodiversity” to feed our native bees. I have been mixing more annual bee friendly plants ( I grow from seed) with native plants to provide for the local bees. I also find letting my vegetables go to seed provides food ,too:-) I am trying to squeeze in more diversity on my lot , so there is something blooming for the bees all the time. Do you have to grow them as annuals/are the HHA/HA which reseed every year? I am finding some of what the experts recommend don’t always attract bees locally, so I have to look and observe my local bees. I try to “only” grow those on my lot that I find a lot of activity on daily:-) A lot of kneeling and getting up close with the bees lol:-)…I just can’t imagine a summer without the “hum” of the bees!

      3. We have an apiarist living up the back of our block so our property tends to hum with bees most of the time and I would love to make sure that they are happy and healthy and am going to do my best to seed most of Serendipity Farm with some form of bee happy flowering plants like you, for most of the seasons. At the moment I have pineapple sage going nuts in the veggie garden. The possums (aren’t supposed to but they have breached the compound AGAIN but nothing in there for them to scoff at the moment except my poor long suffering silverbeet…) can’t get in but the bees can as the netting is an inch square, perfect for even bumblebees that I saw humming around in the middle of our hot summer where my veggie garden was like a green oasis (like a red rag to a bull for the possums 😉 )

      4. That would be amazing! You have a lot of bees all summer:-)I have most of my perennial or native plants for bees +other pollinators in our front yard. I wanted to have more food up front( I have some but not as much as I would like), but my neighbors are still using chemicals, and I have to keep a buffer zone from them, so my natives are up front and scattered througout the urban potager, but I wish I had more space out back to include more. I squeeze in what I can for the bees + this year I am watching to see what plants remain or get the kick! lol

      5. I am so lucky to be able to scatter whatever I want wherever I want BUT we have the native animals to contend with and they scoff anything vaguely tasty and tender so we have to work out how to separate the delicious exotics (your natives) from our native animals and usually that involves including Earl in the equation. One confrontation with Earl and most native animals choose to hightail it out of there 😉

      6. oh my I agree! Dogs are wonderful to deter the little animals. I had two nests of bunnies this year + my oldest dog punk ( this will be her last summer since she can hardly walk) killed all the baby bunnies. I felt awful, but she was just doing what dogs do. I also moved most of the tender veggies they like near the dog area where they bask in the sun. The animals don’t come near.
        Early this spring , Chance the middle dog chased down a possum and the poor thing was so scared he stayed in the same place for 30 minutes, but never came back. The bees they leave alone thank goodness, but I have only seen one bumble bee this year and a few bees here and there…I did see many smaller bees all over some new annual natives I planted, but I am concerned with all the chemicals people use on their lawns…I try to get the word out ,but they still have to HAVE the perfect green carpet!

      7. I just raked about half an acre of oak leaves from my elderly neighbours property yesterday (3 big trailer loads) and have at least that many more to rake today. Tired and sore are mild words for what I am feeling ;). Out here in the country no-one cares what their “lawn” looks like and so we probably don’t have the chemical cocktail that ends up in the city. People are very stupid. That lush green lawn should be banned because it sucks up precious water, it requires SO much time and maintenance and it is a waste of resources all round and usually requires a lot of chemicals to keep it pristine. Completely unnatural!

        Earl caught one of our brushtailed possums on the deck and the first we heard of it he was banging the poor thing on the sliding glass door in the middle of the night. Steve and I headed out half asleep to see what the racket was about and he dropped the possum (guilty anyone? 😉 ) and it hightailed it off the deck. Our possums are bolshie and it was right back stealing cheese off the window ledge the next night! Goes to show you what we have to deal with here ;). Hope your weekend is going well and those bees are starting to warm up and start buzzing.

      8. I wish it were that way here, but it is not:-( The decline of the bee is due to all those people that keep on pushing the “carpet like” lawns. It should be eliminated, but it never will until the bees are all gone and people then decide, “Well, we need to do something”….( long sigh)…oh well, maybe those of us that keep shouting about it will be heard:-) My middle dog Schatze likes to eat bees, I have to work on that with her since they are far and few between these days! They are buzzing out there, but I was biking today with my friend on the river and I asked her , have you seen any bees this year. She said not as many as I have in the past. She is noticing the decline. In fact, they have tried several times to keep bees on their property and CCD hit them..the bees just disappeared.
        I know some of the critters do stay away because of our dogs, I couldn’t imagine not having dogs for I would have everything eatin!!!

      9. Earl was a great been sniffer…pressed his nose right onto them and sniffed regularly right up until the wasps found their way into the house and Earls unwanted pressure must have grated on them. He doesn’t sniff many bees now 😉

  2. This is such an important issue, Robbie. I’m glad you posted this. In April, I went to a workshop on gardening. A number of the plenary and breakout sessions focused on pollinators and polinizers, a distinction I had never heard of before. One of the sessions covered the importance of providing living spaces for bees, so I no longer pick up all of the dead wood and weed piles. It also stressed the need to choose flowering plants that bloom at different times, especially early spring. Now I have a good reason for my dandelion-filled yard – a great source for early food and year-long blooms.

    One of the presenters shows a film about an area in China known for its pear orchards. All of the bees were poisoned and although all of the tress blossomed after the bees died, there was not a single pear. Now, orchard tenders need to hand pollinate. I’ve attached some links to photos and a brief description of the consequences we could all face if people continue to poison the environment:
    http://thebeephotographer.photoshelter.com/gallery/Hand-Pollination-in-China/G0000M46TBQX4Odc/
    http://beeandgarden.com/?p=131

    I am grateful for posts — I learn so much about gardening from you!

    1. Oh my goodness! Could you imagine doing that with our almond trees or other food sources in the USA. Crazy. I will be writing a blog post in the next few weeks with info about planting for all the season. I have been observing my own “choreographed” flowers in my gardens. They all are placed in various areas to create a pollinator friendly yard from spring to late fall. I am seeing the smaller bees on some of the annuals I put in my rotation beds. I rotate in some areas to keep the soil healthy, so I can’t have the entire bed be perennails due to growing food with flowers and herbs. It is my goal to create a place for us to harvest food + feed the pollinators at the same time:-)
      I love being outside, so I ‘m not getting to blog posts as much, but when I do, yours is one of my favorite posts to read for all the great stories. You are the master story teller!

      1. I look forward to learning more about planting for all seasons, Robbie! I, too am finding it challenging to find time to blog these days, but I love to view your beautiful gardens!

      2. 🙂 I know the outdoors are calling and we have all winter inside to be at our computers:-) The past few years I have been trialing some annuals, perennials in the garden to see if they actually do attract beneficials/pollinators + sometimes I have found some don’t in my area. I believe you have to get outdoors and “observe” your own space and see what the bees + others are attracted to. I am sad this summer since I have yet to see one monarch! I did see a young swallowtail, so I am putting in more milkweed + other plants for “all” the pollinators:-) Happy Gardening:-)

  3. Wonderful – I have saved so I can watch the whole thing during leisure time. I am in charge of a kids program at a community garden this summer and I want to put together a program about pollinators and beneficial insects. I would like to show them this! Thank you. I see lots of bees this year but they were slower to emerge. I have lots of bumble bees – Dogwoods are loaded with them. I actually here the shrubs buzzing. I have big carpenter bees, too. And lots of green bees this year – not sure if they are cuckoo or sweat. I have been meaning to look up. I saw a Swallowtail and a Monarch on Wellesley Island (but not in my own garden). I saw a small orange butterfly in my own garden I have to look up. I haven’t been all that observant either. But my neighbor does not use chemicals. In fact, most of them don’t (at least for lawn maintenance). A good portion of Wellesley Island is state park.

    1. I have a lot of smaller bees, and random others, however, it has been so rainy lately and our spring was very late. My neighbors do use chemicals and it really concerns me since for years I have seen them decline. I will update this fall since when the asters ( which I have many) start blooming and my single flower mums are blooming in fall this place is buzzing. Also when the cosmos is blooming the entire yard is humming, but the salvia is fading and the russian sage should fill in soon! Very cool and rainy summer so far, but I don’t mind. A lot of weeds though!

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