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Let’s Talk About Bees

The honeybee is often used to promote planting with native and pollinator-friendly plants. We’ve all heard the drum call … Save the Honeybees! While we do rely on honeybees to pollinate many food crops, it’s important that we don’t let this non-native, albeit hardworking, bee overshadow our native bees. Ohio has nearly 500 native bees that also need our protection. Five simple steps can be taken to provide them suitable habitat.

1- Reduce, or better yet, eliminate the use of chemicals in your yard.

2- A very easy change in landscape care is to opt for pine straw and leave some areas of the soil exposed so ground-nesting bees can make a home.

3- Leave stems from last year’s plants standing in the garden. These hollow-pithy stems are this year’s nesting sites for many native bees.

4-Provide a water source. Bees, like the birds, need access to clean water. A shallow birdbath with pea gravel, to ensure the water isn’t too deep for the bees, is a nice addition to any garden.

5- Plan your garden to have blooms from late winter-early spring until the first hard frost. Finally, when possible, add native plants.

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