Help Bee Populations with Your Plant Selections

If you’ve been listening to the news, you probably know that bee populations around the country have been on the decline in the last few years. says that according to recent studies, several species of bees have significantly declined in population over the last 10 to 20 years. There are numerous reasons behind the decline, including pesticide use, climate change, parasites and habitat losses, but as USA Today reports, the combination of these issues is having a dramatic and detrimental effect on bees.

The loss of bee populations across the country is alarming for the future of these vital pollinators, but it could also cause catastrophic problems with our crops. With honeybees and bumblebees in crisis, some are worried about the impact on our ability to grow crops that require pollination to grow and eventually produce fruit, seeds and nuts.

Fortunately there are ways that you can help bolster bee populations by doing a few simple things in your community. The Honeybee Conservancy has tips for creating a bee-friendly backyard, including replacing some of your sod and grass with flowering plants, planting native flowers – which are flowers that are local to your ecosystem – using single flower tops like daisies and marigolds as Sunset suggests, and planting year-round blooms.

We can also make a difference in our ecosystems by choosing organic seeds. Some hybridized plants have been bred not to seed, which means that they also don’t produce a sufficient amount of pollen for bees to use.

You can also build homes for bees, like areas created with piles of branches or bamboo, hollow reeds, and even wood nesting blocks. This will provide them with a protected area to construct a hive. Plus, by planning an area for bees, you can locate them in an area that’s convenient for you and your gardening where you won’t accidentally disturb the nest.

It’s also important to avoid using any pesticides in your garden. Several pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, have been shown to affect bees. Only use natural fertilizers instead, which won’t discourage bees from pollinating your flowers.

Shop for plants for your home garden online now from Cold Stream Farm or call us today at 231-464-5809 for more information.