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What is it about the honeybee community that draws humans into their world? Watch this informative breakdown of bee experience, bee-human relations and, most pressing, the threats to bees today (skip to 5:50 for threats):

 

Bees are cooperative, intuitive, hard-working, living beings whose labor is exploited for its fruits (superfood honey). The process of human-bee interaction, the human chemical-agricultural input changes, monocultures and the fact that “we’ve stopped planting cover crops” for soil fertilizers and bee food, all equal major consequences for bees worldwide.

Humans have helped, in some way or another, to create, enable and excel bee population destruction. We’ve done this by not planting bee-attracting crops, using pesticides/herbicides/insecticides and other agricultural chemical inputs that leach the soil of nutrients, destroy crops, create superweeds and superbugs and eventually poison and starve bees. We’ve also done this collectively through honey production and transporting bees to pollinate human-desired mass amounts of crops like almonds. We have been planting more and more crops for the dwindling number of bees to pollinate. They’re tired. They’re sick. They’re literally dropping dead from pollinating our food: when will it be enough? Marla Spivak gets the audience to consider these questions: when will these toxins begin harming humans at this lethal level and what are they doing to humans on a small scale level in the meantime, too?

It’s not all lost though; we can turn this around. As Spivak says in the video above, food deserts don’t have to be the future of food. She states that humans can help bees in two direct ways: planting bee-friendly flowers and not polluting them with chemical toxins like pesticides. You can also help bees by leaving their honey alone (they need it more than humans do), supporting a bee sanctuary or creating your own, always taking the opportunity to vote and get active in the fights against these bee-killing poisons and practices, too. Speak up for bees!

Now that you know that bees need you, don’t worry that summer is nearing an end. There’s still plenty of warm days ahead to start planting a bee-friendly flower garden today. Here are four flowers bees need you to plant now.

1. Hollyhocks

Best when planted in fall (September or October), these beautiful, tall flower pods will bloom within the next year. This provides quick food for bees in need. Simply sprinkle the seeds on top of some rich, warm soil and cover ever so lightly with a fine layer of the soil. Make sure the seeds can feel the sun and receive full light when germinating. Thereafter, full sun or partial shade will do. These flowers come in a variety of stunning, bee-attracting colors, make for excellent garden decor and will return each year for several years.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW! Primejyothi/Wikimedia
 

2. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)

This perennial flower’s bud literally pushes itself toward the sun, providing easy access for bees to land and have a snack. It’s no wonder then that gardeners get the best flowers and best food for bees by planting purple cone flowers in full sun. What’s more? These flowers are drought resistant, making them good for the not-so-green-thumbed gardener. For more on how to grow these, check here.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW! Biedrek/Wikimedia
 

3. Shasta Daisies

The composite shape of the shasta is what draws bees in. It is also what makes these such efficient methods of helping bees. Bees will land on the big yellow pad we know as the centre of the flower. Here, there are hundreds of much smaller flowers that form a tight round cluster called an inflorescence. It is when the bee walks across these tiny flowers that its body is covered in pollen. This pollen then is redistributed amongst flowers to create food for bees and humans alike.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW! asdfawev/Flickr
 

4. Sedum Spectabile “Brilliant”

An easy flower to grow, this hardy perennial will feed more than just bees, too. It is known to attract butterflies with its showy or “brilliant” flower pod heads. These blooms will begin in August (plant now!) and carry on into the cooler months.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW! Aka/Wikimedia
 

Please note, always try to plant native species to your own location. What the bees in one gardening zone like will not necessarily match in another location. Happy gardening!

Image source: Maciej A. Czyzewski/Wikimedia

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0 comments on “Bees Need You to Plant These 4 Flowers in Your Backyard NOW!”

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Victoria Fiore
15 Days ago

Sunflowers! My goodness, I have a huge family of bees on my sunflowers! Once the bees are done, the birds come to enjoy the seeds. I see this every day in my garden


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Emm
16 Days ago

But... Is this worldwide?????????????????????????????


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Steve
20 Days ago

What about bee balm/buam? My grandmother used to have and talk about it. Is it for bees?


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Louis Diedricks
20 Days ago

I read something the other day where environmental scientists are in an uproar because our government has just OK\'d a new more deadly form of pesticides, which they compared to being like Round up on steroids.
I wonder what that is going to do to the honeybees.


Reply
David Mitchell
20 Days ago

Two additional flowering plants bees desperately need as food sources are CLOVER and DANDELIONS. These are very important because they thrive and bloom SEASON LONG IN A LARGE VARIETY OF CLIMATES, TERRAINS, AND GROWING CONDITIONS. Their prevalence has been greatly reduced by GMO and current farming and seed distribution practices.


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Jason
28 Aug 2014

How have dandelions & clover been greatly reduced by GMOs? That doesn\'t make the least bit of sense. Dandelions & clover are not significant crop weeds. They haven\'t been since well before GMO crops and that hasn\'t changed since they were introduced.

Peter Hickner
20 Days ago

Shasta Daisy is invasive in range areas.
I\'ve noticed how bees love Sedum, but it also can be a nuisance.
They LOVE lavender! Also sage and rosemary.
Clover is a classic, too, but you probably have to chose between commonly accepted landscaping Lawn, etc.) and clover.


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LeeAnn
20 Days ago

If you grow these plants make sure your seed is organic, same with plants that you buy !!


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