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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading more and more about the decline of bees globally, and I recently ran across an article referencing the decline as high as 96% for some wild honeybee species.

Some of the bee deaths are attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder, some to the overuse of chemicals, and some to the loss of bee habitat (read: we build houses on top of their flowers).

If you know anything about bees (or if you are a Jerry Seinfeld fan), you know that without bees, we don't have flowers, fruits, or veggies. (We might still have mushrooms. Jerry didn't address that!)

Since not all of us are in a position to maintain a healthy hive of bees (and I've looked into it, but it looks like something that I need to plan POST-retirement), I am challenging each person out there to do SOMETHING for the bees this year. Put a potted flower out on your balcony; plant a bee garden; or if you are a "better living through chemicals" kind of person, opt for less-deadly chemicals and/or be cognizant of when you spray.

I am going to look into buying some more bee forage at the nursery this weekend.

What are you going to do for the bees?

Check out: The Importance of Bees to Our Food Supply | Eating Well and Vanishing Of The Bees for a start.
 

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Great topic MH - I am opting for flowering plants at school and at home - mahalo!!
 
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Great Topic and Challenge Madhen,

I love the Bees, and we grow a bee friendly garden every year( all organic) with tons of flowers, veggies, fruit and herbs that they like. They seem to love my lavender best. I have a small hive, that is all I can manage and am allowed until we move to the farm .

But I have supported a few farmers over the years when I buy my 60 pounds a year. Mine doesn't produce as much as I need a year. The only ones I go to don't feed them HFC syrup, or use pesticides, even the organic approved from EU but use powered sugar for the pests bees get on their skin.

Thanks again for the challenge and fantastic topic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have aquatic mint growing in my bog garden, and the bees all over that stuff when it is blooming, so I think I'm going to move some of the plants to another part of the property (because it grows like regular mint and is almost a weed in my bog) to start a second colony. Maybe try to put a small bog garden for the mint near my veggies this year.
 

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I have a pond in my backyard and a small oak tree that they LOVE. I do not disturb them and they do not disturb me or my dogs. They are amazingly "respectful" to us.

I have chocolate mint and flowers in the front yard that they also love. Its so nice to sit on the porch and watch them.
 

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I bought snap dragon and hollyhock seeds to plant in and around my garden this year. I really hope they like them.
 
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Yes, Greebo bought me a flat the day we found out our honeymoon was postponed due to a hurricane in Grenada. They came up a second year. :) There are not too many flowers that I like but snap dragons are, I think, my favorite.
 

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Love the bees and they love my backyard! They pollinate my lemons, oranges, and visit all my flowering plants and shrubs. I keep some water in my bird bath and they like that also. I have tons of them visiting year round.
 

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The bees love our fruit trees and flowers, we have gone organic, I would love to have a bee hive, we are thinking about letting a beekeeper put one here.
 
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I am careful to minimize my use of chemicals. I allow weeds (more than I should probably) to exist in the lawn.

I also ensure there are water supplies that the bees can access too. I have a terra cotta saucer filled with sand that I fill with water just the sand level so it's barely wet for them to stand on - butterflies can use it too. Bees (and wasps) like the sugar water in hummingbird feeders too (though I don't really encourage them there).

I have an organic herb and vegetable garden and bees LOVE LOVE LOVE it I find plants in the parsley/umbrel shaped flowers family (lovage, parsley, carrots, garlic chives, etc.) tend to attract more flies and wasps as pollinators rather than bees, which in my garden gravitate towards the oregano, mints, anise hyssops, etc. My anise hyssop and oregano are usually LOADED with literally dozens of bees almost non stop during their super long bloom periods.

Have some flowers blooming in as long a season as you can - daffodils and lilacs in the spring, summer flowers, then asters and sedums in the fall.

For anyone that wants to attract bees (and veggie gardeners, you WANT bees!!!), plant flowers in the blue / purple / white range. Bees are red/green color blind and don't find those flowers as easily (though once they do find them, they'll likely come back).

We have a local beekeeper that has an "adopt a hive" program. :)
 
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I don't use chemicals in my garden, I have my "pond" with floating "raft" like plants for them, I plant flowers and vegiew that are rich in pollen and such for them. :) I gotta figure a way to make my garden less WASP friendly though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not too many bees out right now - way too cold. I did notice a few hanging out by my manzanita shrubs, which are blooming right now. I researched keeping a hive last year, and decided it was too much for me to try to do correctly while working full-time, but I am thinking about it again. I may have to find some beekeepers and talk to them about what it actually entails.
 

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Great challenge, Madhen.

I am planning to plant flowers in with my vegetable garden this year. In particular I plan to plant the sunflowers that I harvest for eating seed on the north end of my garden. I always see lots of honeybees on the sunflowers. My herb garden is right next to the vegetable garden so that attracts bees also. I had looked into mason bees for my fruit trees/berries but do not have the funds this year.

I have veronica speedwell (purple) in my front flower bed and it ALWAYS is full of bumble bees. You usually can not even get close to the flowers without shooing bees away. Haven't seen honeybees there. I do see them in my lawn because I have a lot of clover in my grass.:vibes:
 
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The local news in Seattle had a segment last night encouraging people to keep bees. The City of Seattle's ordinance about beekeeping states that up to 4 hives can be kept on a property (in the city) and that the setback is 25 feet from your neighbor's property OR a 6 ft high barrier between your yard and your neighbor's yard. I found this so interesting. Of course I don't live in Seattle so it doesn't apply to me but I was really interested that so many people are doing this. Actually the little wooden hives were quite nice looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I love the look of them, but the one time I read a book on beekeeping, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to devote the time necessary to keep a healthy hive. At the time, I had a small wild hive living in the rotten trunk of an old oak on my property, so I just started trying to make sure they had plenty of food. I will have to check this spring to see if they are still out and about.
 

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We just moved into our own place and I haven't seen much of yard without snow, so I don't know if anything is planted, like flowers or vegetation. I don't think there is. Anyway, despite that, I'm going to plant some flowers and vegetation around the yard this spring(if it ever shows up.) And we are also planning to have a garden this year as well. So hopefully that will help the bees a little. :)
 
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