The Buzz on Bees

MY PARTNERS IN GARDENING CRIME have joined me for a round up on marvelous, amazing bees. We call ourselves the GARDEN CHARMERS and I would like to introduce you to some of my fellow members and their blogs:

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As summer ends the bees are busier than ever searching for winter stores. If you have planted flowers that attract bees you no doubt are noticing the fever of activity in your blooms. At our farm we have a small apiary that my husband tends to with loving care. Bees actually become pets, believe it or not.

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Chris (beekeeper) at Sensible Gardening and Living

Bees have been in the news a lot lately, what with hive collapse disorder and all. I think many of us don’t realize the importance that bees are to our food chain and ultimately to our survival. About 30% of our food supply comes from pollination. Pollination is required for fertilization and fertilization allows the flower to develop seeds. In other words no bees (pollinators),  means no pollinations which means no fruit resulting in no seeds.

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Bee on False Spirea / Sensible Gardening and Living

As gardeners we can do our bit by growing bee friendly plants and not using insecticides and pesticides. Once again organic gardening wins the prize. Welcoming bees into your yard with bee plants is easy and bees do go about their business quietly and are not a bother to the gardener. If you feel uncomfortable around them, just place your plants for bees away from sitting or play areas. You will soon discover however that bees are not interested in you. They are far too busy with the tasks at hand.

Most of the bee friendly plants are common and easy to grow. For a list of bee plants that are worth trying in your garden visit my post:

http://sensiblegardening.com/busy-busy-bees/

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Russian Sage / Sensible Gardening and Living

If you are growing lots of flowers but just don’t seem to be attracting the bees, you may be growing the wrong plants. To recognize which plants the bees don’t like visit:

http://sensiblegardening.com/plants-not-to-plant-for-bees/

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White Begonia / Sensible Gardening and Living

Bees gather nectar and pollen which enables the plant to reproduce. The pollen feeds the baby bees and the nectar is turned into honey to feed the colony and spoil us. Many trees and shrubs are sources of pollen and nectar but so are many flowers. Some weeds are also a great source such as dandelions, clover and vetch.

In return for your efforts the bees will thank you by producing delicious and nutritious honey as well as beeswax. Using honey in your cooking is one step towards healthy eating and beeswax can be used for a multitude of products, from candles to cosmetics. Find out how to make your own nourishing skin cream and lip balm by visiting:

http://sensiblegardening.com/beauty-and-the-bee/

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Beeswax / Sensible Gardening and Living

 I invited my gardening pals from The Garden Charmers to share their thoughts on bees and how they invite them into their lives.

Carol Speake from The Gardening Cook takes a serious look at how our modern day practices are having a negative effect on the bees. She offers tips on what we can do to help get bee populations back on track.

 

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Bee feasting in Carol’s Garden

 

Barb Rosen from Our Fairfield Home and Garden is not about to have her trusted and reliable gardening tools get rusty and stiff. She has found that beeswax works beautifully to keep the moving parts working smoothly.

 

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Barb likes to use Beeswax on her tools.

Tanya Highet of Lovely Greens shares a very informative post about first hand experience with honey extraction from the hives. This is not an easy task, believe me I know. There is a huge learning curve for dealing with bees and processing the honey from hive to table.

 

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Filtering Honey after Extraction Process

Carlene Blair from Organized Clutter grows several types of bee loving plants in her cottage garden, one of which is white Echinacea. Lucky for us she caught a great photo of a butterfly and a honey bee sharing the goodness. Two pollinators for the price of one perhaps. Check Carlene’s post for great pics of other bee friendly plants.

 

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Butterfly and Honey Bee on White Echinacea

 

 Melissa J. Will of Empress of Dirt shares a gallery of wonderful up close and personal bee photos.  She also offers up interesting tidbits to help us understand bees better along with a source for information on natural pest remedies to use instead of harmful pesticides.

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Honey Bee coming in for a landing.

Jacki Cammidge of  Blue Fox Farm shows us how to make Mason Bee Houses from repurposed materials. A very easy and clever DIY project to encourage pollinators into your area. We tend to think of bees as honey bees but in fact there are many different kinds of bees, all equally important.

 

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Mason Bee House

 

Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy takes us through the steps using beeswax to make decorative candles in sea shells. An easy but beautiful project and great for gift giving. Beeswax burns so much purer than other waxes.

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Beeswax Candles

 

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Sharing with The Homestead Barn Hop

 

 

 

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