Encouraging the Bees-from another forum

sylviatexas1March 12, 2011

"The hum of bees is the voice of the garden"

Elizabeth Lawrence

Encourage bees to your garden by planting bee-friendly plants into spaces between plants & around your garden. Include a variety so something is blooming all year.











bee balm











witch hazel


See the Honeybee conservancy for additional ideas to encourage bees.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Honeybee Conservancy

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I have a border formed by 6 Mexican heathers. These bloom until the first frost, and attract swarms of bees-so many that I have to avoid that part of the bed until late afternoon, when they all depart. Not to seem ecologically insensitive, but I'm not sure why one would want bees where one will be working. Bee stings are serious business, potentially fatal for some. And now we have these "killer" bees. . . .

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 3:01PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Sylvia, thanks for the information! By the way, PBS Nature is featuring a program about bees this Sunday. The Nature series is absolutely my favorite program on TV! It comes on at 7PM on the PBS channel every Sunday except during those couple of weeks a year when PBS is showing fundraiser programs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Silence of the Bees on PBS...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Borage is hands down the best bee attractant in my garden. Thanks for the list.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Wonderful information, texanjana, I have never tried borage so I will give it a try.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:18AM
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I notice that bees are VERY attracted to basil flowers, so I always have some of that growing when it's warm.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 10:14AM
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There is a terrific website by the Texas Bee Watchers. Lots of information and plants lists. They're looking to certify 52 gardens as bee friendly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Bee Watchers

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:11AM
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chena(z8 Texas)

This is a newsletter I received from the Great Sunflower Project.

It started by planting Lemon Queen sunflowers and counting the bees during a fifteen minute time period and record the data on a paper form, any bee will do. Now that has led to teaching people to create a pollinator garden. I thought this might be helpful to any of our newer gardeners.

The BUZZ: Creating a Bee-Friendly World

Creating an environment that provides shelter and food for pollinators is one of the most rewarding of garden activities. You can do it anywhere � city rooftops, school gardens, a sidewalk strip or your own back yard. For very little effort, you can create beautiful and critical habitat for native bees and abundant forage for honey bees.

Not only will your fruits and vegetables benefit by increase pollination efficiency, but you will be creating a great opportunity for observing bees and other pollinators. Some of my most memorable times in nature have been spent lazily observing bees and butterflies visiting my favorite plants.

You can enhance your existing garden or start something new this year. I invite you to take the "add a yard to your yard" challenge in 2011. Here�s how:

* Select one square yard, (36" x 36" ) to transform into a pollinator garden. Make sure that the site gets ample sunlight and a source of water is nearby.
* Choose plants to fill your square yard that will bloom continuously throughout the season. Diversity is key. Think about three to five plant varieties in bloom at all times. Make sure to include �Lemon Queen� Sunflowers to anchor your planting and observe and report your bee observations.

community gardencommunity garden
* Some other good choices might be California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) �Tropical Sunset�, Echinacea (E. purpurea), Bee Balm (Monarda �Bergamo Bouquet�), along with cosmos and alyssum.
* Like our white borage, most pollinators are attracted to obvious clusters of blooms, so plan to group similar plants together for maximum effect.

Low-cost and beautiful seeds can be found at Renee�s Garden Seeds. Check out their site, and don�t forget to enter the Coupon Code FR225A, so that the Great Sunflower Project will receive a portion of the proceeds to continue our work.

To find out much more information on planting for pollinators, check out the new Xerces Society Guide to "Attracting Native Pollinators." You can order your copy through our web site at a discounted price.
Once your pollinator garden is in full swing, share your success stories and pics with us!

Here�s to making a difference by creating a more bee-friendly world,

Freddy B

I found this interesting! Thought I would share..


    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:01AM
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You know, I've never planned FOR bees, but every year I notice that the Winter Honeysuckle gets absolutely covered with them. For all of you guys that are scared of planting honeysuckle, this is a shrub honeysuckle that is not invasive, and NOT a vining honeysuckle. You actually have to take cuttings and root this plant if you want multiples. I've bought 3, and rooted maybe 5 more and have them in my garden. They bloom all winter long, which is a time when blooming plants are almost non-existant. I love them for that reason, but apparently the bees do too. I don't know whether the bees are attracted by the fragrance, or what, but as soon as the weather warms up enough for bees you can hear the buzzing coming from those bushes from across the yard!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 11:22AM
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I noticed yesterday that my neighbor's holly has bees swarming all over it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:23PM
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I had not seen many bees here in a while (depressing), but as the above poster noticed--when I let the basil finally flower in late winter, they were all over it (somewhere there is basil flavored honey, I guess). I was overjoyed, especially since the summer before, I'd had to hand pollinate some plants. (My kids, however, were not so overjoyed, whether Mom explained why bees are good or not...lol.)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 11:29AM
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When the Carolina jasmine is in bloom, there are so many bees on it that it sounds like the vine is humming.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:22PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

cweathersby, layering works great for propagating Winter honeysuckle. I found out that if you cover some of the lower branches with a little soil and put a brick on top to hold it there, Winter honeysuckle and many other plants as well, will root very easily.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:56PM
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