Two things that all of us can do to help honeybees: planting bee food, and better management of pesticides. Bees need improved forage. Even small yards can support a few bee plants, while larger landowners could make a difference if they were to leave just one corner of a field or fence line unsprayed, and scatter flower seeds on those spots. While the mindset is to spray weeds with weed killer, that spot in the back of the shed or the fence row that usually gets denuded can play a very important role in helping bees survive.
Bees benefit most from late blooming varieties like asters, salvia, mint and sage, as late summer is when bees have less food available.
If you care about bees, never spray pesticides in the middle of the day as bees bring the poisoned pollen back to feed their young. Spraying in late evening is the best because it gives the pesticide several hours to break down before bees begin to forage again.
When bee habitat improves, we all benefit with increased farm production, and gardens that show significant improvement, so let’s work together.
Frank Grover, Boise