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Honey Bees and Your Landscape: What You Need to Know

Every landscape is home to a number of insects and creatures, including honey bees. While you might fear a bee sting, it is important to note that a honey bee away from its hive, looking for pollen, is not likely to sting. Rather than considering honey bees to be a pest, consider them an essential part of your thriving outdoor landscape.

  • Independent Tree Honey Bee Honey bees are the top pollinators. Honey bees provide nearly 80 percent of pollination in the United States. Bees collect pollen, which is produced by flowering plants, and use it as food. Without honey bees collecting so much pollen, our country would experience a very large decrease in fruit and vegetable production.

  • Honey bees are in decline. In the last several years, the number of honey bees in the United States has dwindled due to a problem called Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony Collapse Disorder is a syndrome in which all of the worker bees—the bees that leave the hive to gather nectar and pollen—disappear, leaving the queen bee alone. However, this is not the only cause of honey bee decline. Honey bees have also been affected by a lack of diversity in plant sources for nectar and pollen, as well as the adverse effects of pesticides.

  • You can help protect honey bees. There are several things you can do in your own backyard to help honey bees survive.

    • Plant a diverse flowering garden. Give honey bees a nice variety of plants with different colors, sizes, and fragrances to pollinate. Got dandelions and clover in your yard? Great!
    • Plant flowers that bloom from early spring to late fall. These plants will produce more pollen for the honey bees.

    • Never use pesticides on plants that are in bloom. The application of pesticides to the bloom of a plant or a weed will be deadly to a honey bee. If you are spraying, remove the blooms before treatment.

    If you have questions about honey bees and how they affect your landscape, consult a member of our team at Independent Tree. Give us a call today!

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