Bees: A farmer’s best friends!

bees

Bee friendly gardens are becoming popular in the gardening community. So what’s the hype and is there anything in it for you? Bees could be the key to what’s missing, being that they are helpers that pollinate and can potentially help other areas of your garden. You can’t say ‘thank you,’ but, you can return the favor by providing them with a safe and happy environment.

A few things to consider when deciding on elements for your bee garden are:

  1. Choosing plants that attract bees such as flowering herbs or wildflowers.
  2. Picking flowers that thrive in different seasons to keep your bee habitat going strong through many.
  3. Placing a bee bath with fresh water nearby with areas for them to land while drinking.

In addition to our suggestions, below is a list of bee-approved flowering plants to get you started!

 

Echinacea Coneflower – A tough perennial that loves the sun and is easy to care for. This is a great summer option for your bee garden!

Goldenrod – Goldenrods bloom through the fall and can grow just about anywhere. This perennial is a favorite of bees and prepares them for winter.

Sedum – Another bee favorite is Sedum. Its attractive foliage produces gorgeous blooms in the fall, keeping your bee garden strong.

Snapdragons – Snapdragons are helpful during the spring and fall months. They prefer cooler weather. Plant them in full sun to partial shade to keep them thriving for the bees!

Zinnias – Zinnias are easy to care for and great for beginners. Their large blooms keep bees happy all the way through the fall.

Caryopteris – Another bee-favorite flower is perennial Caryopteris. These plants look great in a big group as a garden border or as a tall filler. You will see the bees (and butterflies) flocking to this one!

In addition, consider planting edible herbs to add variety and function to your bee garden. Herbs such as sage, mint, oregano, thyme, and lavender all attract bees and are useful in the kitchen.

Amazing facts about honey

Honey is perhaps best known for its sweet taste. But beneath that sweetness is a complex, healthy food.

Bees produce honey from the pollen of plants through a complex enzymatic process, turning it into the beloved golden nectar.

Many properties make honey a unique food that is not just tasty, but also quite healthy.

Here are some facts about honey that might get you buzzing.

• When stored in an airtight container, honey can last indefinitely. The substance is naturally acidic and low in moisture, which means it is an inhospitable environment for bacteria. There are small amounts of hydrogen peroxide in honey as well, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. (Source: Tin Roof Teas)

• Honey has antibacterial properties, so it has been relied on as a health food and topical treatment. Burns, cuts, infections, stomach ailments, and more have been treated with honey. (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information)

• Honey is the only food source produced by an insect that humans eat. (Source: Peace Bee Farmer)

• Mead is a fermented beverage that is made from honey. It has a storied history as a beverage of choice in many different cultures. (Source: Hidden Legend Winery)

• Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life. This includes enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It also contains pinocembrin, a unique antioxidant associated with improved brain function. (Source: Sirhowy Valley Honey)

• A honey bee produces roughly 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life. Bees are not the only insect to make honey, however. The honey wasp, native to Mexico, also can produce honey. (Sources: Golden Blossom Honey and Inverse)

• Honey will take on the flavor of the nectar from which it was made. This nectar also will affect the color and the consistency of the honey. (Source: National Honey Board)

Honey has a sweet and rich history. At times honey has been referred to as “the nectar of the gods,” and it is still enjoyed for pleasure and medicinal reasons today.

 

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