Monday, May 2, 2016

Bees: Flowers for Every Season

 For bees, the flower is the fountain of life;
For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.

    ~Kahlil Gibran~

Bees have similar needs to us nutritionally; we both need protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and water. In the process of gathering their food, bees pollinate plants

Bees gather their food from flowers. Bees pollinate flowers to gather nectar (source of carbohydrates, etc.) and pollen (aka bee bread); loaded with protein (the pollen) and  feeds the hive. Nectar is what the bees turn in to honey! Bees need the honey as a source of food/energy. Nectar is what the bees live off of in the colder months; the carbohydrates and minerals 9and amounts of each) in a flower's nectar vary between plant species and soils.

Bees also need clean water, so keep a source of water available! It's really important to float something (small stick, water plant, rubber ducky ;) etc.) in the water so no bees get trapped and drown in your water source!). Bees drink the water, but they also use water to cool their colony and likely as a source of minerals.

Some plants are poisonous to different bees, so be careful what you plant in your yard!

Plants Lists!
Some plants on the list are annuals (only grow one year) and some are perennials (grow multiple years), be sure you check what grows well in your area and whether it is an anual or perennial where you live! (some plants that are perennials in warmer climates are annuals in cooler areas)

Some ideas to get you started and keep your bees happy all during the blooming season!

  • bluebell
  • blueberries
  • borage
  • calendula / marigold
  • crocus (very early!)
  • hellebore (very early!)
  • hyacinth
  • lavender
  • primula 
  • rock cress
  • strawberries
  • wild lilac
  •  bee balm (monarda)
  • clematis
  • cosmos
  • cone flower (echinacea) 
  • dianthus (sweet williams!)
  • foxglove
  • hosta
  • mint 
  • poppy
  • rosemary
  • rudbekia
  • snapdragon
  • sunflower
  • thyme 
  • verbena 
  • asters
  • goldenrod
  • sedum
  • witch hazel
  • zinnia
  • *many of the summer flowers, like bee balm (monarda), will bloom well in to autumn, especially if the flowers are cut off before they develop seed heads.

    the bee... gathers it's materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of it's own.

    ~Leonardo Davinci~

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