Bee season in New Mexico is in full force and I’ve had the pleasure to meet many of the lovely beekeepers of Albuquerque and members of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association.
These beekeepers are a plethora of knowledge; they talk about their bees as an extension of their family. So I was saddened to hear how many bees don’t make it through the winter each year. I had heard this before but was naïve about the reason. I assumed bees died over the winter due to the lack of honey stored up in their hive for them to eat. Many colonies due die because of starvation but there are so many other factors that can affect the hives in the winter. The variables are insane, unpredictable temperature changes of our winters, location of bees in the hive, pesticide exposure, infestation from varroa mites and many others. There is a whole lot working against them. To learn more about these bees in New Mexico visit the New Mexico beekeepers association.
We talk a little bit about bees and their importance in this video from the Morning Brew.
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” –Albert Einstein
So you’ve heard about the diminishing bee population on the planet. You’re aware of the variable factors for this. And you’re wondering what you can do to actually help this?
You can plant a bee friendly garden to help the bees get the food they need. Yup, it’s that simple.
Bees have good color vision — that’s why flowers are so showy! They especially like blue, purple, violet, white and yellow. Plant flowers of a single species in clumps about four feet in diameter instead of in scatterings so bees are more likely to find them.
And they are certain plants that the bees flock to. Check out the recommended list below of native perennials and shrubs.
- Desert Marigold, Baileya multiradiata
- Firecracker penstemon, Penstemon eatonii
- Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
- Common gaillardia, Gaillardia aristata
- Whitestem paperflower, Psilostrophe cooperi
- Desert globemallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua
- Maximilliam sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani
- New Mexico Olive, Forestiera neomexicana
- Apache Plume, Fallugia paradoxa
- Three Leaf Sumac, rhus trilobata
- Raceme Catnip, Nepeta racemose
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