Is your yard BEE Friendly?

Is your yard BEE Friendly?

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and bats are credited for providing one of every three bites of food eaten in the world, as they facilitate the reproduction of 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants. Bees are the most important single group of pollinators in North America. Habitat loss and excessive use of insecticides are the biggest contributors to pollinator declines – See more at: https://www.tn.gov/twra/news/15654#sthash.tjax6l8V.dpuf

Do you realize?  Pollinators can live without humans, but humans CANNOT live without pollinators?

I don’t how many times I have read this and heard people talking about the trouble that our pollinators are in.  Reality hit me today though, NOTHING happened!! When I was growing up, my dad raised watermelons and boy were they good.  We would sit out in the yard, he would cut one right down the middle and we kids would dig in.  But within 15-20 minutes of being outside with a melon, the bees began to swarm because of the sweet sugary smell it put off.  We would be swatting at them, crying, complaining, because they wouldn’t stay off our melon.

Mr. J and I don’t have enough property to grow melons here on the homestead, but we both love them and I buy them weekly at the grocery store until the local vegetable stand, owned by the Thompsons, opens and then she has the best tasting homegrown watermelons around.  It’s nothing for me to stop at her stand and buy 2, sometimes 3 a week.

Recently, I completed the Tennessee Master Gardeners program in our local County Extension office.  One of our classes was on bees and how to raise them.  I haven’t ventured into that yet, but I learned how important bees are to our food source, I had no idea.  We as humans cannot live without the bees!

So yesterday, fathers day, I cut open a great big watermelon for Mr. J to eat and decided to take my rinds outside, lay on a colorful plate in the garden for the bees, rather than putting them into the compost bin as I normally do.  The more bees I have in the garden, the better my vegetables will produce.  Remember, when I was growing up, it took 15-20 minutes for them to arrive.  This morning, I checked the rinds and NOTHING HAPPENED – NO bees!  There wasn’t a single bee eating on the sweet melon rind.  We have a problem!  OUR BEES ARE TRULLY DISAPPEARING!!!!!   This has been a great eye opener for me.

The Bees are missing!

 

We are killing our bees and we cannot live without them!  Without pollution from the bees, our gardens don’t produce.  As you can see in the picture, the rinds are even near bright colored flowers and they’re no bees on them.

I posted this blog just to make you aware of what is happening.  It really hadn’t hit me too hard until today.  I’ve been reading and researching for the past couple of months, attended a pollinator class, and trying to learn how to better provide for them, but really not done too much.  I’ve been working on a 5-year plan to make our yard an eco friendly environment and I think the need is even greater now.   We need to be growing native plants, bee friendly flowers, trees, bushes, etc.  Stop using the pesticides, stop spraying the yards for mosquitos, using weed killers, etc.  and realize that pollinators are important and without them, we don’t survive.   My planning is even more urgent and on the forefront of my plans for the homestead now and I hope this blog has inspired you to do some research, look at your yard and maybe you will decide to help save the bees.

If I were to start sharing my research, would you be willing to follow and maybe make changes in your yard?  Is your yard already pollinator friendly, if so, feel free to share.