I keep the news at arms length most days, but I’m generally aware of what’s going on in the world. One headline that’s hard to miss is the distinct threat to the bee population as commercial bees are on the decline due to constantly movement from farm to farm, disease and pesticides take a toll on them. Add in the threat to native bees as development swallows up wildflowers and we find ourselves in a precarious place. No bees, no flower pollination. No pollination no food. I know I’m simplifying it, but in general that’s the problem we’re facing.
I have friends who post constantly about bees on social media. I prefer to plant instead. If the bee population is suffering, I’m offering up my yard as a sanctuary garden. I don’t use pesticides as a rule, preferring traps for Japanese Beetles and leaving most of the plants to fend for themselves. And so this morning, as I sipped my coffee and watch the sweat bees dancing along on the Sweet Alyssum I cast my vote for the New Hampshire bee population. The butterflies and hummingbirds don’t seem to mind either. And I’ve made a similar bee and butterfly sanctuary down on the Cape, where the Pocasset garden, a standout well before I got involved, has recently been supplemented with bee balm, Purple Coneflower, and cilantro.
I’m no expert on bees, but I’m trying to learn a bit more about them. What I’m sure about is that they could use a little help from people in the form of more flowers, and maybe a little less asphalt and concrete. It’s not uncommon to see more wildflowers seeded and left to grow on the sides and median strip of highways. Generally more awareness creates better ecosystems for all of us. As with everything though, it starts at home.