It is more important than ever to promote the livelihood of the ever dwindling bee population. Bees are responsible for pollinating millions of plants each year, many of which are agricultural crops. One out of every three foods that we eat are made possible by bees. Without them, a huge amount of the plants we rely on for food would die off. Combine that with a world population on the brink of 10 billion people worldwide and we need bees now more than ever.
Sadly though, they are dying off. The biggest preventable reason for the current drop in our bee population are the many toxic pesticides Trump has lifted bans on. One of these was a previously banned highly toxic bee killing pesticide that he brought back to life; Sulfoxaflor. He not only lifted the ban on this toxic pesticide, but authorized its dumping and use on over 16 million acres of bee attractive crops!!! The other Chlorpyrifos, actually causes brain damage in children. We haven’t made nearly enough strides in preserving life on this planet and what few strides we have made, Trump is working overtime to deplete. Unfortunately, with all the coverage on his collusion with Russia and the Mueller Report, these environmental atrocities get lost in translation and are not mentioned at all!
So to help we need to 1) vote for a new candidate in 2020 2) grow a bee garden and 3) feed your children organic fruits, free of pesticides and do not allow them to eat school fruit. For the purpose of this post, my focus is on the bee garden. I prefer to plant flowers that stay in bloom for awhile. There is nothing less appealing for a landscape than bunches of dead and dying flowers. It is also best to choose at least three varieties of flower, that bloom at different times of the year to ensure that whether it is spring, summer or fall, there is a much needed feast available for the bees.
This year for my spring bloom, I chose Cosmos Bipinnatus. Bees love cosmos, they are easy to grow and they stay in bloom for a very long time. From seed they typically take about 7 weeks from seed to first bloom. For my summer blooming flower, I chose Zinnias this year. Here again Zinnias are very easy to grow, they stay in bloom for a prolonged period of time and bees and pollinators love them! They are also very colorful. Zinnias take about 60 to 70 days from seed to first bloom.
Lastly and my personal favorite for fall, I chose Goldenrods. Of all the flowers, I think bees and butterflies love these the most. This wildflower grew a few years ago on my front lawn without me even planting them and there were herds of bees and butterflies feeding on them all day long! They are a beautiful vibrant bright yellow color and an excellent last source of pollen before the winter. This flower is also easy to grow, very hardy and drought tolerant. If you want your goldenrods to bloom in the current year, sow them in the spring. Make sure to put the seeds in direct sunlight and do not cover them with soil. The sunlight is paramount to their germination, which will generally occur in about 2 to 3 weeks. For blooms next year sow the seeds in the fall, for blooms in spring. Tell your friends and family, grow a bee garden!