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Bees in the Garden

May 23rd, 2009

I love seeing the ladies in the garden working while I’m out and about. I’m always trying to take photos of them, but they’re always so busy and working so quickly. I finally got this one.
These chives are obviously delicious as you can see since she’s diving right in! I’m also very happy to see the ladies enjoying the strawberry blossoms. They’ll get lots of pollen and I’ll get lots of berries.
This year I’ve been noticing more and more pollinators in the gardens. We have many different kinds of bees and wasps around. I think it’s because we’ve been working on making our gardens more diverse with plants that are beneficial for the pollinators.

What are you doing for the pollinators in your life?

19 Comments to “Bees in the Garden”
  1. Mangochild on May 23, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I’m looking for them! Haven’t seen many bees or other pollinators, and I hope they come soon to get to work on the strawberry plants! Any tips on the top 2 or 3 ways to attract them?

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Signs of Growth: First Blooms

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    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

      I noticed a lot more pollinators out and about after I started planting a greater diversity of plants in the gardens. You could try planting some flowering herbs in your strawberry patch, like chives or catmint (they’re both very attractive to bees).

      Some pollinators are so small you may not notice them either.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Kim on May 23, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Great photos! We get a lot of Eastern Carpenter Bees and tiny wasps, but I’ve noticed more honeybees in the last year. I’ve been planting a variety of plants, and last fall I planted several Agastache, a new Nepeta and a new Monarda in my perennial border. I hope to see more bees this year.

    Kim’s last blog post.. Old Master Gardening

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    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

      The Agastache will really attract them, it’s one of the most loved plants in my gardens by the bees. I also notice that they really love my catmint plants, which blooms much earlier in the spring).

      I notice a lot more bees in my gardens the more variety of plants I add. This year I’m adding a lot of annuals, which I’ve shunned in the past because of having to buy them each year.

      I’m adding a lot of alyssum, zinnias, cosmos, lantana and a few others for attracting insects, hummingbirds and butterflies.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Faith on May 23, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I’ve been looking forward to seeing them as well. I just had a swarm come over our place, and I really wished I had my bee box ready.


    Reply to Faith's comment

    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

      I’d love to catch a swarm, how fun!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Chicago Mike on May 23, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I will be planting a LOT of squash, melons, and pumpkins to encourage what I hope is a large number of squash bees in the area.

    Of course, we have talked about that before!

    Chicago Mike’s last blog post.. Big Days Ahead

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    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:14 am

      I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for the squash bees, I’m not sure if I’ve seen them or not.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. deedee on May 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

    we have the nice wood bees who bore holes in the wood on our house! they are pretty much right outside our front door and the kids are scared to death of them because they’re so big and loud. i don’t mind them being around, but i do mind the holes in my house! anyone have any ideas on how to get them to move before my husband gets out the seven??

    Reply to deedee's comment

    • Carpenter Bee PDF on May 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Deedee – here’s a PDF that tells how to protect your home from carpenter bees. You need to keep your home well painted. I remember reading once, that even the backside of any exposed wood has to be painted (i.e. back of eaves, etc.)

      Renee :o)

      Reply to Carpenter Bee PDF's comment

    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:20 am

      Here’s some great info on carpenter bee control. I’d definitely try the less toxic solutions, especially since you have kids around. Who knows about that toxic stuff and how long it sticks around.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Silke on May 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

    What great photos of your bees! When we lived in Albuquerque and had a large xeric garden with lots of desert plants, we used to be astounded how each plant attracted their own type of bee. And we LOVED watching the bees take long baths in the pollen of the huge cactus flowers…

    Silke’s last blog post.. Good Things!

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  7. Renee on May 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’ve noticed a lot more bumblebees than usual. My kids used to be scared of any type of bee, but they have learned this year that bees are good, don’t disturb them or their nests, and they won’t disturb us. They will even tell others who come over that the bees are good.

    We have quite a few mason bees. We have an old fence that took a hit during a huge windstorm. We never got around to fixing it. The mason bees moved into the empty holes where screws used to be. I think this summer’s family project will be building a mason bee house.

    As usual, we have a lot of hornets and wasps, too. Since they are so aggressive with the kids, hubby gets rid of the nests as soon as he finds them. Since I finally convinced him he has to leave the mason bees alone, I’m not going to complain too much. One step at a time when it comes to saving the bees.

    Renee’s last blog post.. What’s Growing (and What’s Not)

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  8. pam on May 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    We’ve always had plenty of bumblebees, but lately I’ve noticed more honey bees, yay!

    pam’s last blog post.. Weekend Cat Blogging #207

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  9. KitsapFG on May 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Last year we had very few bees. So far this year, I am seeing a slight increase in number – which is encouraging. We have a diverse garden and yard with a variety of blooming plants that provide nectar and pollen for the hummingbirds and bees. By using organic growing methods – we are taking care not to cause further problems for our pollinating friends. Other than that, we are not doing anything specific to increase pollinators.

    Reply to KitsapFG's comment

    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

      I have noticed an increase as well since we’ve become organic and started including a greater variety of blooming plants around. It’s amazing how much of a difference that makes!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Helen at Toronto Gardens on May 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    We have lots of carpenter bees in the garden. I happily let them munch on the facing of our cedar shed. You can build bee havens for solitary bees (such as carpenter bees) which they might find more appealing than your home. For example:

    Helen at Toronto Gardens’s last blog post.. Eye am a camera: garden closeups

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    • Susy on May 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

      We live surrounded by woods and we leave all the dead trees standing. These seem to be prime real estate for mason been and carpenter bees in our area. I see them all around, but I have never noticed them burrowing in our buildings.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. pristine farm experience on June 1, 2009 at 2:59 am

    have been enjoying your blog. It is good to know that bees are not gone everywhere due to colony collapse. In western Oregon many orchards and gardens are silent this year and it is really creepy. I live in northeastern Oregon now and so far the honey bee population seems to be strong. You might enjoy this post. thanks

    pristine farm experience’s last blog post.. this old shack

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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