Hello, honey: Invite bees for a lush garden

By Melissa Erickson, The Carthage Press

If you’re looking forward to an early summer tomato or a bumper crop of sugar snap peas, you’ll need to attract pollinators to your garden. Bees are one of your best bets.

“Bees are as important to a garden as they are to any other habitat,” said Matthew Shepherd, spokesman for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “Yes, I do refer to gardens as habitat. They provide food and shelter to all sorts of wildlife, and how they are maintained can profoundly influence the diversity and abundance of wildlife. Bees will provide pollination of flowers, which can lead to seed for birds, a good harvest of orchard fruit and berries, lots of tomatoes or squash. The benefit varies with the type of garden and style of gardening.”

“Although there are many different pollinators on Earth, bees do the vast majority of pollination,” said Rusty Burlew, a beekeeper living in western Washington and founder of HoneyBeeSuite.com, which is dedicated to honey bees, beekeeping, wild bees, other pollinators and pollination ecology.

Read more at CarthagePress.com.