Plant a Flower, Save a Bee

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It isn’t just about sweet, sweet honey. Honeybees have been in the news a lot because of decline. But pollinators of all kinds are affected by habitat loss, pesticide use and disease. Pollinators include butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, honeybees (as European as the settlers who brought them to the Americas) as well as native bees, about 4000 species

“All of these pollinators are “key players in the ecosystem, “ according to Karl Foord, UMN Extension Educator. They pollinate the foods we love and on which our fellow animals and birds depend. Save the bees, the pollinators, and perhaps ourselves. Okay. Where does one begin?

Jack and I attended a Pollinator’s Party yesterday. Our friend Audrey lives in a neat cottage-style house on a corner in NE Minneapolis. Her boulevard and backyard are lush examples of prairie restoration in the city. It’s not all green lawn and weed control.

The invitation read, “So I am throwing a party to give you some ideas, some plants and to help out…and just hang out, share ideas on how we can all do a little more to make sure the insects that we need for a healthy food supply and existence make it.”

Audrey’s vision is to create a patchwork of garden stops for the pollinators–if everyone devoted just a part of their yard to plants such as milkweed and goldenrod we would be helping the butterflies and bees as they migrate, forage and refuel. Even a potted flower will help.

Audrey’s friend Nick showed us how to build a bee house. Perfect for solitary bees that simply wish to have their own little cubby hole to crawl into at the end of the day.

We left with a flat of gifts, precious as goldenrod. Also swamp milkweed, meadow blazing star, aromatic aster, prairie phlox and wild bergamot (bee balm). Sweet!

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