Do you pay attention to the pollinators in your garden? Honeybee numbers are declining due to several factors, and it’s finally starting to make headlines. The loss of bee colonies has far-reaching consequences that go well beyond missing the honey on your morning granola.
An international research team led by Alexandra-Maria Klein, an agroecologist from the University of Goettingen in Germany, conducted an extensive review of scientific studies from 200 countries and for 115 of the leading global crops. Out of the 115 crops studied, 87 depend to some degree upon animal pollination, accounting for one-third of crop production globally. Of those crops, 13 are entirely reliant upon animal pollinators, 30 are greatly dependent and 27 are moderately dependent.
About one third of our crops are pollinated by bees. Without these busy little bugs, fresh fruit and vegetables will become far more expensive, and less available.
The crops that did not rely upon animal pollination were mainly staple crops such as wheat, corn and rice. Those that are entirely dependent on pollination include
Plants to Attract Pollinators
Plan for blooms season-round by planting at least three different types of flowers to ensure blooms through as many seasons as possible. Happy Bees need a constant source of food. Here are some suggestions for bee friendly plants from The Honeybee Conservancy:
Spring: Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, cilantro and wild lilac.
Summer: Bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, lavender, zinnia, catmint and hosta.
Fall: zinnias, sedum, sunflower, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod are late bloomers that will tempt foragers.
Use the tips from our fix.com infographic to invite bees to your garden. Don’t forget to attract pollinators!
1. Create homes for honeybees
2. Make a bee feeder
3. Have sources of pollen
4. Even bees need water, make a watering station