Honey bees create a good many products we use, including a large proportion of the food we eat. Right now they could use a little help from us, in return. Honey bees have been called the Angels of Agriculture, for that is what they are. In the hundreds of years Man has been cultivating crops to feed others, only the honey bee does her job as she has from the beginning.


Although some of the diseases and problems affecting honey bees are complex, and puzzling to hard-working scientists racing to find solutions, we can all do a little to help honey bees right away.
Here are some simple things you can do to make your property more honey bee friendly:

-- Leave important nectar and pollen plants in your yard for the bees. These include plants that some of us think of as weeds like skunk cabbage, dandelions and chickweed that are important to bees in the Spring. In Summer, clover and jewelweed are important food for honey bees, and in Fall, goldenrod and milkweed help them stock their pantries for Winter.

-- Plant trees, bushes and flowers that honey bees can use as food. Some of these may surprise you! Willow, tulip poplar, holly, and maple trees are very important sources of pollen and nectar for honey bees. Some of the most humble flowers may provide the best honey bee food. Clover has some of the highest food value for honey bees! Big, showy flowers or extensively hybridized ornamentals are usually not great pollen and nectar-producing flowers.

-- Reduce or eliminate pesticide use in yard and garden, especially when plants are in bloom.

All-in-all, honey bees deserve our gratitude for a great many things, including the promise of Summer they bring as they harvest pollen from trees and flowers in the earliest days of Spring!

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