Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May Is Bee Month

Holy tulips, where did April go? Maybe it seemed like it went by fast because the weather was so...neutral. You know, no longer winter (in spite of the snow squalls) but not quite spring. It looked more like November out there in the field!
It's not been till the last few days that the green has sprouted here in northern Nova Scotia.  Regardless, it's the first day of May and the maple trees are covered in red buds out, the daffodils are almost in bloom, and the lilacs have tiny hints of green on them.
I think we can all agree, spring has arrived -- that season of discouraging mud and encouraging sprouts!

My Field Notes column in the spring issue of At Home On the North Shore celebrates all things bees and dandelions because this month we celebrate World Bee Day on May 20 then the following weekend, it's the tenth anniversary of the Wallace Dandelion Festival. Bees are very important to humans and the ecosystem in which we live, and dandelions are very important to bees, so I was happy to dedicate an entire column to these small but mighty aspects of our earth.

Here's the link to the column: http://athomeonthenorthshore.ca/field-notes-spring-2018/

Want to plant a bee friendly garden?
1) Choose a variety of flowering plants, particularly single flower tops like daisies and marigolds. These singe flower tops provide more nectar and easier access to pollen than double-headed flowers like impatiens.
2) Leave some weeds, especially in early spring when there aren't a lot of flowers in bloom. Dandelions and clover are both pretty and bee-friendly. Really, they're not weeds; they're wild flowers.
3) Plan your flower mix to cover the entire season. Plant for May through October so that bees have a constant source of food, particularly in areas where there aren't a lot of wildflowers.
4) Use only natural pesticides and fertilizers. Bees are just as suspectible to poison as the bugs you're trying to eradicate.

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