Backyard Gardening Tips for a Bee-Friendly Garden!
Spring is here, or is it? As we look outside our windows, we see the wet snow coming down quickly. Even though it is not a good sight to see, we are optimistic that the sunny and warmer forecast for next week will be truly here to stay! We know that warmer weather is upon us so we are in planning mode to create a bee-friendly garden to encourage our pollinator friends to come by for a visit!
The planning really begins in the fall as we plant our spring bulbs which can include a variety of daffodils, crocuses, and tulips. We have started to these beautiful flowers emerge from the long winter. This is a great sign that spring has arrived, despite the wet snow that is still coming down outside. These flowers are not only a happy sign of spring but they are a great relief to the bees because it contains nectar and pollen, which is needed to feed the baby bees, the queen, and the workers bees inside the hive.
The Crocus Vernus (Crocus) flowers usually begin to emerge this time of year in April and often you can see them coming up through the spring snow. They typically bloom for 2-3 weeks and on warm days the bees will find these flowers and collect the nectar from inside the flower. It is considered one of the first true nectar plants in the spring. So this is a very important bulb to plant in the fall to help the bees in the spring.
As we approach May, you may start to see the Taraxacum officinale Asteraceae (Dandelions) emerge. We encourage you to pass on the word to your family, friends, and neighbors to keep those dandelions!!!! This is a vital source of food for the bees to collect and take back to the hive to feed the baby bees. It is often common for people to mow these dandelions with their grass or even pull the dandelions to remove or partially remove them altogether. But please, please do not mow or get rid of those dandelions. It’s unfortunate they have been labeled a weed, it is actually considered a plant and an important source of food for the bees.
As we look ahead at the season and summer, we are beginning to prepare our seeds to create a flower and vegetable-filled garden that will help support the bees and other pollinators throughout the entire season.
Stay tuned as we start listing off some seeds that you can begin to plant to help the pollinators in the early spring and summer!