Bringing in the Bees!
Unless you’ve been circling the earth in a time capsule for a few years, you’ve no doubt heard about the honey bee crisis that will ultimately affect all humans.
Consider the many plants and trees that are pollinated by bees: including apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, squash, and pumpkins. And that’s not all! Other plants include grapes, olives, onions, carrots, citrus fruits, and alfalfa, a major food source for cattle. All need bees for pollination, and when bees participate in the production of fruits and vegetables, the quality improves and the yield grows by up to 71 percent!
Help for the Honey Bees
The honey bee populations worldwide are on the decline and scientists think it’s not just pesticides and disease that are to blame, but also habitat destruction and that’s where you can help! The Honey Bee Conservancy has lots of ideas ranging from sponsoring a hive to keeping a portion of land undeveloped to invite bee nests. If you like to garden, plant nectar-rich flowers, trees and veggies that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds so the ecosystem can continue to thrive. That’s right, just feed those busy little pollinators by growing the kinds of plants they love, and you will, too. In this list from Sunset, you can pick from sunflowers and oregano, alstroemeria and sweet alyssum, and many more and surround yourself with fragrance and beauty.
Easy-Breezy Buzzing Bees
Kim Eierman, founder of Ecobeneficial admits that while many people consider bees a threat, they are actually gentle little vibrating creatures that should be embrace and supported as tiny VIPs to the ecosystem. Eierman provides a list of bee-loved spring and summer blooming perennials on her website, for near year-round pollination – which benefits everybody!
Float Like a Butterfly
Bees aren’t the only pollinators, and HGTV showcases a bevy of beautiful flowers that will lure butterflies to your garden. The butterfly bush, also called the buddleia, is a big and fast-growing plant that’s easy to care for and alluring to butterflies. Other flowers that attract the delicate flying creatures are the phlox, coneflower and lantana.
McCords Garden Center and Landscaping in Monument on McShane Dr. is a great place to find flowers that attract pollinators. “We carry a wildflower mix for hummingbirds with bee balm, coral bells, honeysuckle and penstemon – whcih come in all different colors,” says Macy McCord, one of the owners of the garden center just 25 minutes south of Castle Rock off I-25.
Hummingbirds are mesmerizing to watch; colorful birds with iridescent feathers and wings beating so fast (80 times per second) they create that recognizable humming sound. When you plant hummingbirds’ favorite blossoms, the flowers not only light up your garden, Macy says, you’re bound to see the tiny hovering jewels darting between the blooms!
The Pollinators of Crystal Valley
We welcome the effusion of flowers to the master-planned community of Crystal Valley which not only attracts the best of the bees and butterflies, it makes our neighborhoods explode with color and fragrance. Explore the stunning model homes from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, and D.R. Horton and choose from a variety of ranch and two-story designs, priced from the $300s.