Friday, September 11, 2015

My 3rd Guest Blog Post for Morris Arboretum – Beneficial Bees

If you follow me on Instagram, you know what a huge bee fan I am. I actually go into my garden specifically to visit my bees. I participate in a citizen science project called Bumble Bee Watch. My garden is an official Pollinator Garden (as well as a Monarch Waystation). I love pollinators and bees are the most important pollinators that we have. Our pollinators are in decline and it is vitally important that we do what we can to help them or else many of the foods we enjoy today won’t exist. My 3rd guest blog post for the Morris Arboretum is called “Beneficial Bees: How to Help Our Essential Pollinators.”

I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t post the photos that I sent along for the article, so I’m posting them here. These are photos that I took in the Rose Garden at the Morris Arboretum just a few weeks ago.

This is my favorite photo of the bunch I took that day. This bumble bee is literally COVERED in pollen from this purple thistle. Look at him, head to toe in pollen!

Here is a happy honey bee on verbena.

And wow, look at the size of this carpenter bee. They are seriously big bees and may appear scary, but they are actually very gentle and rarely sting. They do nest in wood and can even chew their own tunnels, so they are one that most people would consider a nuisance, especially if you find they made a nest out of part of your house. Keeping wood or tree stumps in your yard may help them find an alternative home. Remember, they are pollinators, too!

I love a show called Growing a Greener World that I watch online all the time. They have some great episodes on bees. Episode 610: Bringing Bees Back is an excellent show on the importance of pollinators, especially bees. Definitely check that one out to fully understand and appreciate the role that bees play in our agricultural industry. Episode 601: Beginning Backyard Beekeeper follows the host, Joe Lamp’l, on his first year of beekeeping and provides a realistic view of what it takes to keep bees.

I hope you will read my post on bees on the Morris Arboretum’s blog, as well as the other ones I have written. There are at least two more that haven’t been posted yet and two more I am still working on. It has been tons of fun to be part of the arboretum’s blog. I would love to see some comments on there. And hopefully my posts will help encourage people to visit the arboretum. It truly is a beautiful place and is a lot more than just trees. They offer some really good classes, too. They were one of my first sources for learning more about gardening when I first started out, and continue to be a source to this day.

P.S. The Philadelphia Honey Festival is this weekend! Lots of great bee and honey related activities going on at three different locations. Check out the website for more info.