“Bee”-ing Friendly

YIKES!  I’ve missed day three of the El Quotation Challengo…okay, so that’s not really Spanish and I’m okay with that as long as you are.

So here’s my final quote, but I’m running out of people to challenge.  I think it’s time to explore more on WordPress.

“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”  -Elizabeth Lawrence

Anyway, remember how I talked about that Victorian garden?  Well a few weeks ago I sent away for the Cheerios “Save the Bees” seeds you may have seen advertised on television.  Veseys is a company in Ontario, Canada that sells amazing and unique gardening products – mainly known for their seeds, of course – and graciously supplies the seeds for this campaign.

So what is the campaign all about?  Well, on social media we have been reading a lot about the effects of pesticides on our bee population.  Sadly, they’re dying at an alarming rate due to the use of neonicotinoids – which were not properly studied/reviewed before they were allowed into mainstream in my humble opinion.  Neonicotinoids are essentially a SYSTEMIC pesticide that was meant to kill grubs, aphids and other sap & root feeding bugs.  What I mean by systemic is that this toxin is in the actual system of the plant, not laying superficially on the leaves.  It is deep within the core of the plant.

As I said at the beginning of this blog, YIKES!  So, bees are taking the neonicotinoid-filled nectar, taking it back to their hives, where we know honey is produced (honey which we eat, no less…just remember that possibly a trace amount of that toxin is going through your own system while eating honey?), and young larvae are feeding on it….bing, bang, boom you have a whole hive of baby bees (larvae) full of the toxin and it’s no wonder they’re dying out!

So, as I said, I sent away for the “bee friendly seeds”.  Well, lookie what arrived in the mail yesterday!

13064612_10153377263887735_1958666535717786734_o.jpg

Along with the seeds I received – separately – a Veseys’ catalogue…oh dear, this could be dangerous on the bank account!  “My Best Me” could turn into “my broke me.”  😉 LOL

Did you know that an everyday, run of the mill person like myself, who knows NOTHING about bee keeping other than “I don’t have the balls to collect honey“, can purchase a bee house to place in your garden or anywhere you choose.  It’s meant for mason bees which are said to be non-aggressive!  Not too bad for educating kids and having a productive garden, am I right?  I also hear a rumour – and you all can tell me if it’s true or not – that those stinking yellow jackets & hornets won’t come within a certain range if there are already other bees/wasps/hornets nests around.  Could this be a way to keep those bullies away from our backyard?  I might be purchasing one very soon!

mason

 

Alright, so this post is not really anything remotely inspiring…then again, maybe it could inspire you, the reader, to do your research when planting your garden and maintaining it in a “bee friendly” manner this year.  I know I’ve already learned a lot from just one simple campaign.  Kudos to Cheerios & Veseys for “planting the seed” (see what I did there?).

In conclusion I will leave you with some facts about bees and suggestions on what we all can do to prevent the bee population from dying out.

Facts:

  • 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is possible by pollination bees provide.  You want to eat? Save the bees!
  • Honey is a natural sweetener, antibacterial, moisturizer, demulcent (relieves irritation in your mouth & throat – hence why it’s awesome for a sore throat), and much more.
  • You’re not the only one who wants their morning cuppa coffee.  Bees apparently love caffeine as much as the next java-addicted person!  Believe it or not, caffeine is produced in plants to repulse harmful insects…except bees….they need their caffeine BUZZ!    (….Yikes, is right!  Bad pun?)
  •  Ancient Egyptians (I hope “Bee Lore” the blogger, does not mind me plugging their site, but this was a good, brief but informative blog) kept bees too!  The Egyptians believed bees to be a sacred insect, bridging the natural world to the underworld.
  • Sadly, up to 30 percent per year are dying.  That’s a lot considering our need for bees!  Here’s what we can do.

Suggestions:

  1.  Purchase ONLY seeds & plants that HAVE NOT had a treatment of neonicotinoids.  I believe certain suppliers are now labeling them.  As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t say anything about neonicotinoids put the product back.  The label should clearly state it has not been treated with the toxin.
  2. Do your research before you buy.  If you can find the information online, you’ll be better equipped to purchase your products.
  3. Consider using NATURAL pesticides if you’re adamant/insistent on having a pest-free garden.  (dish soap, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, onion and garlic spray, Himalayan salt spray, cayenne pepper, other plants such as marigolds, etc)
  4. Also remember to respect the natural circle of life.  Take clues from it.  If your garden is attracting aphids, maybe you’re over fertilizing the plants.  Aphids love nitrogen!!
  5. Plant a wild flower garden!  Remember, neonicotinoid free 😉  Bees love echinacea, yarrow, sunflowers, black eyed Susans, lavender, pumpkin, mint (be wary of this invasive plant if you’re worried about it taking over your garden…it WILL), chives, crab apple, squash, and many others.  The beautiful thing is, many of these plants are either edible (veggies, fruits, & herbs), and some have healing properties!

I’m off to plan my garden now.  I believe drawing it out may help to keep me on track.  Plus it will give me enough time before actual planting begins.  Keep posted & check back often to see the progress & what I’m learning.  Until then, BEE kind! 😉

Buzzing off now…

badpuns

Cheers!

 

 

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