Undoubtedly, you’ve heard about the recent drastic decline in honeybees and may want to find out if there is anything you can do to support maintaining and even increasing the local bee populations. Well, the excellent news is that there's a lot that you, as a homeowner can do to play your part in helping local bee populations thrive.
One thing you can do is use your landscape to feed local bee populations. Planting flowers that provide bees with nectar and pollen increase biodiversity for all bees, not just honeybees. If you have a lot of flowers, whether they are native or not, the flowers provide bees with vital nectar and pollen. Unfortunately, we are so often focused on a beautiful green lawn, free of flowers, which doesn’t contribute ecologically. A plain green lawn doesn't do anything for bees or other organisms.
So, what can you do to contribute to the survival of the bee population? A real kicker for improving your property to become bee friendly is maintaining an unbroken succession of blooms that last all season long. Include an assembly of plants on your landscape that bloom all spring and summer. Bees depend heavily on having a lot of blooms flowering in mid-summer which is the time of year that bees are producing the next year's queens. The real key here is to time your planting calendar to be sure something is always blooming on your property.
Keep notes of the times during the year that are naturally short on healthy flowering plants, and fill in those deficiencies. A good candidate for healthy flowering plants is the sunflower. Sunflowers are a mid-summer blooming flower. They can be planted at a time when there are not a lot of other things naturally blooming. Some sages are also midsummer blooms. Crepe myrtle is another midsummer bloom.