Monday, September 17th, 2012...8:06 am

Bees in TheGardenLady’s garden

Chinese chives – עירית שומית by Eran Finkle

A few mornings ago, as TheGardenLady did her daily walk in the garden to see which flowers had newly opened and what butterflies were nectaring, I was astounded to see the number of bees on many of my flowers. There seemed to be more bees than ever and all were so concentrated on what they were doing, you could tell their lives depended on it.

I am so pleased to be able to meet the bees’ needs. So many of the bees on my flowers this summer have been bumble bees. I like bumble bees because they are excellent pollinators.  In fact, bumble bees are among the bees that pollinate most of the flowers. There is a Bumble Bee organization where you can learn about the importance of bumble bees.  Bumble bees pollinate but they do not share their honey.

But I love to look for honey bees. My prayer is that scientists will solve the problem of the sick honey bees and that my garden, that never uses chemicals, will play a small part in helping honey bee health. Honey bees pollinate a lot of the food or crop plants AND they give us honey. If you can’t tell the difference between bumble bees and honey bees, check out this Canadian website.

The plants that made me happiest this morning were the flowers on my garlic chives/Allium tuberosum. They were almost covered with honey bees. I hadn’t seen as many honey bees all summer long. Other than the garlic chives, a few of the many plants that seem most popular with bees on my property are Blue Mist Spirea and many of the herbs that I let go into flower just for the bees; herbs such as Agastache foeniculum or blue giant hyssop or anise hyssop, oregano, lavender, and other mints. Here is a a list of flowers that attract honey bees to other people’s gardens.

I love honey and hope that the honey bee colony collapse  will soon be a thing of the past. When I was a child, the most common honey was clover honey. Clover used to be so common in lawns. But then so many people did not like clover in their lawns and used pesticides to get rid of it. I still see that it is for sale, but mostly I see a wildflower honey in my supermarkets. I am not a honey connoisseur but the most wonderful honey I have ever tasted I ate in a restaurant near Ephesus in Turkey. (see here)  As I remembered it, the honey tasted almost like apricot jam. If any reader knows what the name of this honey is and where I can buy it, please let TheGardenLady and her readers know.

At this time of year, honey is important for my Jewish readers who like to use honey in their cooking as a symbol for the New Year. (see here)  So to all those who celebrate, TheGardenLady wishes you A Sweet New Year with Peace.

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