As my husband and I worked in the garden this weekend, I noticed the bees visiting my azaleas (okay, not my azaleas, but the neighbor's azaleas). I take extra notice when I see bees since hearing so much about their population declining.
Experts are blaming pollution, pesticides, and parasites for bees' disappearance. Jose D. Fuentes is an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia. He pointed out that before the year 1800, a flower's scent could travel up to 4,000 feet, but today, the scent might travel only 1,000 feet in highly polluted areas. If bees can't find food, soon, neither will we. About 30 percent of what we eat depends on honeybee pollination to prosper.
When summer is in full swing and my dahlias (yes, my dahlias this time) are blooming in bright pink and purple, the bees practically take up residence in my yard. I like to think I am helping in some way by planting flowers and herbs attractive to my petite, fuzzy friends.
You can do your part and help, too. Asters, bee balm, cosmos, foxglove, hollyhocks, larkspur, lavender, purple coneflower, and zinnias are just a sampling of plants known to attract bees. The list is practically endless. Please help out our tiny allies, we need them as much as they need us.