Bees And Your Garden – A Working Relationship

Alfrea Farming expert – Julie / 2017

Bees are one of the most recognized insects on the planet

Their fuzzy yellow and black bodies cause instant panic in most people. The distinct buzzing noise causes heart rates to rise, and spotting a beehive often results in profound silence as the spotter attempts to quickly and quietly put as much distance as possible between themselves and the bee home.

A lot of people dislike bees

Sure, they have stingers, which is a definite cause for concern. Multiplying that concern is the fact that bees tend to live in colonies, which means you often have more than one bee with a stinger to worry about. Bees and other pollinators are also bugs, which puts a significant number of humans off as well. But if you plan to garden, you should forgive bees their faults, because bees are instrumental in raising flourishing gardens. Wikipedia defines pollination as “a process in which pollen is transferred to the female reproductive organs of seed plants.” Pollination results in fertilization, which results in fruiting. Bees are made to be good at pollination. Bee fuzz is a pollen magnet, and bees are slightly electrostatic, which means bees are incredibly effective at carrying pollen from plant to plant.

Colony Collapse Disorder / CCD

So if you plan to grow any number of plants whose edible parts are the fruits, such as tomatoes, peppers, or squashes, your garden needs bees. Perhaps you’ve heard about a phenomenon known as “colony collapse disorder.” CCD is responsible for the rapid decline of bee populations across the planet since 2006. According to the documentary film “More Than Honey,” 80% of plant species are pollinated by bees. It has therefore become crucial, even for hobbyist gardeners, to encourage the regrowth of bee colonies, both for us and the bees. Given that pesticides and natural habitat loss are both believed to contribute to CCD, the rise and development of local, organic gardening will be essential to rebounding bee populations.

Make your garden a spot to attract and support bees

Wikihow has a fantastic, illustrated list of tips to attract bees to your garden. Native wildflowers, flowers of certain colors (like yellow, white, blue, and purple), and fruits and vegetables with fragrant blooms are all enticing to bees. Bees are also attracted to a variety of herbs and spices. Bees will help your garden grow by spreading pollen and fertilizing your plants’ seeds. If you really want to challenge yourself, you can even raise your own hive of bees. You will be rewarded with a lush and successful garden, a sustainable system of pollination, and fresh honey and beeswax. Bees are a little bit scary. But they are also a driving force for successful agriculture on planet Earth. Help the bees help you by planting and growing an organic, environmentally conscious garden. It’s good for bees, good for you, and good for the world we live in.

Additional Bee Conservancy information sources:

Cross reference Alfrea blog postings:

Planting Guidelines

Seed Starting

Bees and your Garden

Happy Gardening!

Alfrea was built to help gardeners and landowners connect.

Your Marketplace for Land Sharing, Garden Services, and connecting you to Fresh Local food.

Our Land Sharing option helps people who want to rent a garden plot, find landowners to want their space put to productive use. By starting a garden share, you can:

  • Directly address the No. 1 problem facing would-be gardeners: lack of land
  • Help reduce the backlog at community gardens
  • Improve food security in your community
  • Cultivate new friendships with like-minded neighbors
  • Fight climate change by reducing food miles and restoring carbon to the soil.

Our Market/Produce Sharing option helps people who want to find / buy / sell local produce. Think online Farmers Market, you will have the capability to Sell and Buy Fresh Seasonal Produce offered.

Our Service Sharing option helps people find and or provide Garden Services. And if you want to earn money helping others in the garden, we make finding customers easy. Alfrea’s helping hands can:

  • Garden-sit
  • Water and weed
  • Diagnose and treat pests
  • Design and build new gardens
  • Select and save seeds
  • Till, top dress and build soil
  • Build and manage compost piles
  • Lift and haul heavy things
  • Help with harvest and preservation
  • Teach you how to improve your gardening

Our Apartment Amenity offering connects apartment communities with land and services to grow their own food. We work directly with apartment management companies and owners to design and implement garden spaces in order to differentiate their communities.

Our Corporate Wellness Gardening for your Employees. We offer multiple packages, with services including:

  • Corporate campus garden design and implementation
  • Ongoing garden maintenance
  • Onsite and online workshops and training to engage employees
  • Delivery of locally grown items from nearby farms directly to your office
  • Metrics on employee usage

Alfrea can help. Would-be gardeners can find and rent a garden plot with a free membership; landowners looking to rent out space pay an affordable membership fee. Join for free today!

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