Plant pollinator friendly gardens, postpone removal of habitat and absolutely avoid pesticides and herbicides
I encourage (actually, I beg) everyone to look at their gardens as critical food sources for bees, bumblebees, humming birds, wasps, anything that depends on pollens and nectar. Remember, if it doesn’t produce a seed, a nut or a fruit it’s likely useless as a food source for all these guys.
Blackberry stands are vital food sources for wild bees as well as honey bees – and the berries are an enormous food resource for birds and other animals. If you must clear blackberries – please wait till after they have flowered; even better, please wait until the berries are done. As mentioned, birds and bears and many other “critters” are depending on the fruit.
SOURWOOD TREES are North American native trees, non-invasive and are happiest in acidic/clay soils. They prefer full sun and growing on the edge of a forest. Best of all they flower in July/August, which for us here on the coast now has become a period where nectar is in short supply. A mature Sourwood tree can produce 300lbs of honey – and the added bonus is that Sourwood honey has repeatedly won gold at Apimondia International honey tasting competitions. Sourwoods are specimen trees, with fragrant white flowers in summer and brilliant red foliage in autumn. Thank you to the District of Sechelt for approving these trees as street and park trees and for the plantings that you are now doing.
In your garden consider spring and fall nectar and pollen sources – check out the Ministry of Agriculture fact sheet: Food for bees
Maple trees (especially big leaf maples), lupines, dandelions, Salal, bearberry, willows, goldenrod, wild elderberry, salmon berry – all these are important food sources and part of our healthy environment. Don’t forget – our Robins rely on salmon berries as a food source for their babies and humming birds and bumblebees also need those very early flowers for nectar (and pollen).
BEES OF ALL KINDS!!
Please continue to keep your gardens rich in diversity, plant for as many seasons as possible, and help provide nesting sites for our native bees (good news for us messy gardeners).