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Nectar dearth is a phrase that you hear frequently in beekeeping. Simply put, it means that instead of your honeybees finding readily available nectar and pollen-producing flowers, they are chowing down on their stored honey. And bees need honey stores to survive my cold winters here in the mid-Atlantic. Supplemental feeding is the option that […]Read more »
In recent years, the role of wildflowers in feeding honeybees has been widely misunderstood. Yes, wildflowers are a precious resource. Yes, there are not nearly enough of them. But no, they are not going to save the day. No matter how many packets of bee-friendly wildflower seeds are nobly given out and scattered, they are […]Read more »
Armed with these guiding principles, you’ll be able not only to plan your own space but also to impress friends with brief but impressively knowledgeable lectures on how to plant specifically for honeybees! QUANTITY, QUALITY AND VARIETY Plentiful supplies of varied forage are essential to help honeybees withstand the impact of disease and harmful environmental […]Read more »
Many pollinator species have suffered serious declines in recent years. Unfortunately, most of our landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat, forage, and housing. Even the most beautiful gardens are not always healthy ecosystems. Design choices, plant selections, and maintenance practices can make a huge difference in creating your own healthy ecosystem, filled […]Read more »
The following is an excerpt from Keeping Bees and Making Honey by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum (F&W Media, 2008). This spectacular book offers an in-depth profile of nature’s most effective pollinator and covers all aspects of modern beekeeping, including where and when to get your bees, different types of hives, how to harvest and […]Read more »
It’s old news that beekeepers are struggling to provide diverse, pesticide-free forage for their colonies, as scientists have been voicing alarm about the decline in pollinator populations for more than a decade. But part of the solution to help today’s stressed bees may be in your own backyard: Consider the incredible quantity of nectar produced […]Read more »
Experienced beekeepers are keenly aware of which flowers provide bees with nectar, when those flowers are in bloom, and whether the right balance of rain and shine has encouraged them to bloom in abundance. In beekeeping jargon, when there is a bounty of nectar for bees to forage, a honey flow is said to be […]Read more »
Prairie Blazing Stars are spectacular spiky, towering flowers that, to my imaginative mind at least, look like fireworks exploding across the prairie. These native flowers attract a plethora of native insects and honeybees for their nectar sources. If you are considering adding additional native flowers to your pollinator garden this year, Prairie Blazing Stars can […]Read more »
I’ve found that herb gardeners are rarely solitary folks absorbed in pursuing perfect plants. When working in the garden, they often trail a friend or neighbor, sharing volumes of knowledge. They’ll pluck sprigs with abandon, encouraging visitors to “sniff this—taste that—please take this one home. My seeds came up so well this year, I’ve got […]Read more »