You can transform your garden into a honey bee paradise with careful planning and a few smart choices. Adding appropriate plants and landscaping will help the bees flourish through the seasons, even as winter approaches.
By offering consistent sources of pollen, bees will routinely visit your garden until winter. The Honey Bee Conservancy has these great tips for helping these important pollinators:
Plant native flowers. Find out what flowering plants are native to your area. They will be particularly hardy and draw local bees. Contact your local extension office for good choices in your growing area.
Single flowers. Single, simple flowerheads will produce more pollen than more elaborate flowerheads. For a bonus, plan on perennial plants which come back year after year.
Keep blooms coming. Think about when individual plants flower. Plan for blooms from early spring through late fall. For example, offer crocuses in spring, cosmos in summer, and sedum in the fall. HoneyLove has a handy list of plants that draw bees and their bloom times.
Consider containers. If you don’t have a full size garden, even container gardening helps bees. Follow the same guidelines for selecting your plants.
In addition to flowers, there are other things you can do for bees to keep them happy in your garden. Here are some important points to consider:
Avoid chemicals. Skip the chemical pesticides because they often kill good bugs in addition to pests.
Thirsty bees. Offering a water source to bees will draw them to your garden. Allow a few shallow mud puddles to be available for the bees. This way the bees will get salt and minerals from the soil when they drink.
Add trees and shrubs
Adding a few well-chosen trees and shrubs to your landscape provides interest throughout the year. Those same plants can also assist in drawing bees to your garden. Here are some selections that will both look fabulous through the seasons and offer food for the bees.
Hydrangeas. Consider including hydrangeas in your landscape as a plant that is attractive year round. Professionals explain that these shrubs are easy to grow and typically begin blooming in early spring and keep going into late summer. When the growing season is winding down they maintain their sturdy blooms throughout the winter months, providing beautiful texture and interest.
Pagoda dogwoods. Experts note that pagoda dogwoods are an especially nice tree for specimen planting. They are worthy as a focal point because they lend interest to the garden all year. These small, ornamental trees have an elegant, asymmetrical branch growth. Pagoda dogwoods have flowers in spring followed by bluish-black berries in summer. Leaves are dark green and turn yellow or red in the fall. When the foliage drops the graceful form of the tree gives winter interest in the garden.
Ninebarks. Ninebarks offer attractive foliage in a variety of colors, depending on the cultivar. Their springtime blooms attract bees and other pollinators. Leaves typically turn brilliant colors in fall, then drop to reveal the peeling bark which gives the plant its name. Experts note that this shrub is easy to maintain and is drought tolerant once established.
Your haven for the honey bees
By making some simple additions to your garden this fall, you can keep bees coming throughout the growing seasons. Plant flowers that will blossom in spring, summer and fall. Remember to also help bees by avoiding chemicals and offering them a water source. Adding well-chosen trees and shrubs can provide food for bees and bonus beauty in winter. By incorporating these simple tips, your garden will be a haven for the honey bees.
The Powell River Peak wrote a fabulous article on our annual Fair and we're so thrilled to be at it again this year.
Powell River Living also did a wonderful story in the Sept issue for Fall Fair as well.
Here are the details: When: Sept 16 & 17 from noon - 5pm Where: 4365 McLeod Road in beautiful Paradise Valley How: You can get there by car, bike or city bus. No shuttle this year (sorry). Handicap parking available from the Myrtle Street entrance only otherwise all parking is outside the Exhibition Grounds. Entry: $5 for adults and kids 12 & under are free - please leave your pets at home.
These Tips Will Make You Want to Start Your Bee Garden Tomorrow
Bees and their colonies have been disappearing due to a disease-driven phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Preventing CCD’s spread is imperative in preserving the world’s managed bee populations, which play a critical role in global crop production.
Therole that bees play in the production of foods regularly consumed by humans is nothing short of immense. Bees provide their benefit to humans through cross-pollination, also referred to as allogamy. Cross-pollination isdefined as ‘the transfer of pollen from the flower of one plant to the flower of a plant having a different genetic constitution.’ This process is principally responsible for the successful harvest of30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants.
It is estimated thatone-third of food production depends on bees’ pollination, so it is clear to see why keeping bees around is a high priority for conservationists. With over 70 different types of crops - and even more species of flowers - dependent on pollinators to survive, there are ample options when deciding what to plant in your bee garden.
Bee Gardening: A Strategic Approach
Planting a garden with the aim of attracting bees has benefits which are twofold. Gardeners reap the benefits of cross-pollination, with bees’ transport of pollen between crops and flowers promoting the overall health of your personal ecosystem. The bees, in turn, extract nectar and pollen from flowers, using these substances as sustenance. It truly is a two-way street, so it is a wonder that more gardeners do not employ tactics meant to keep bees present year-round.
Experts recommend variety of species and the planting of native flowers and crops as the basis of any successful bee garden. The aim is to attract bees already in your garden’s vicinity, which means that these native bees must be lured by native plants. The local nursery or botanical garden will have information about which plants are native to your respective climate and region, so use this advice as a guide when shopping for seeds and flowers.
Certain features make flowers particularly attractive to bees, including ones yellow, purple, or blue in shade. Beessee the world in an ultra-violet spectrum, meaning that flowers with red as a primary color are less likely to be visited by bees, while flowers in the colors indicated appear remarkably vibrant, leading bees to visit them with more frequency.
In order to attract smaller bees, daisy, marigold, butterfly weed, valerian, buttercup, aster, yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace are most likely to do the trick. Larger bees prefer plants such as delphinium, larkspur, columbine, monkshood and snapdragon. Meanwhile, long-tongued bees tend to be attracted toan array of herbs.
Be strategic by planting flowers and vegetables which provide nectar and pollen year-round. Different species bloom at differing times of year, and providing bees with a constant source of food increases the chance that they will return to your garden.
Lastly, bees require a water source, so ensure that you have some form of puddling mechanism, rendering your garden as the one-stop-shop for pollinating bees looking for food and drink.
Bees serve a greater purpose than many humans understand. As pollinators, their role in the production of food to be consumed by humans is a critical one. It does not take much effort to plant a garden that will attract and feed bees, and the benefits to the gardener are well worth employing a strategy to attract these valuable insects. If you were already planning or have a garden, employ these minor tweaks to make it a buzzing ground for our winged friends.
We've been at it for a while now... 30 years to be exact.
We hope that you'll join us this year as we celebrate our history and our future.
Remember we're open every Saturday from 10:30 - 12:30 and Sundays from 12:30- 2:30 at 4365 McLeod Road.
Here are some dates note:
June 3 - June 30th our Birdhouse Fundraiser will be kicking off. Get your pre-built birdhouses at the INFO booth for $10. Take the next few weeks to decorate them for donation to our silent auction in Aug as we raise funds to give access to fresh fruits and vegetables to our low-income seniors.
June 10-11th the Nutrition Coupon Program will be starting. Our community partners: BOND and Family Place will have distributed the coupons to participants and our farmers will be ready to accept the coupons for fresh produce, herbs, meats, eggs and nuts.
July 1 (Sat) 10:30 - 1:30- Canada Day and our Birthday Celebration. As we celebrate Canada 150 we're also celebrating Farmers' Market 30! This day will be full of amazing music by the Blues Busters, 3 hours of market shopping time, some great giveaways and fun t-shirts.
July 8 (Sat) 11:00 - 11:30 - Storytime from the Library is returning to the market. We're so excited to have Deb Zagwyn back with her stories, songs and puppets to entertain the kids. Storytime continues until the last Saturday of August.
July 8-16th - Birdhouse Fundraiser continues as we receive the decorated birdhouses from everyone who's had a chance to decorate one.
August 7th (Mon) 4:30 - 7:30pm - BC Day and our Mid Summer Nights' Feast. Local, award winning jazz ensemble Take 5 will be providing music as we share an evening at the market focusing on food and community. Our Birdhouse Fundraiser Silent Auction will be happening that evening with all funds raised going to support the Nutrition Coupon Program for local low income seniors.
September 16-17th noon - 5pm - Fall Fair 2017! Check the Fall Fair Facebook site for updates as the year progresses.
Powell River has been lucky enough to enter it's 6th year in the Farmers' Market Nutrition Coupon Program through the BC Association of Farmers' Markets. Through this program, community organizations provide farmers' market coupons to lower-income families and new mothers. The coupons are then cashed in at member markets like ours. This is a program sponsored by Healthy Families BC and the Provincial Government. Both Family Place and BOND are participating community organizations. With the coupons participants can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, eggs and meat. The program also focuses on the social aspect of getting people out and about in the community, seeing friends, buying fresh, healthy food and connecting with local food producers. For the past 2 years we have been able to add 9 seniors to our recipients of the Nutrition Coupon Program through the Farm to Fork Fundraiser. We want to be able to help more seniors so we're also adding another fundraiser that is fun for the whole family. Full details below.
Come to the INFO booth at the market to get your birdhouse, we're happy to answer any questions you may have.