How To Encourage Bee Colonies In Your Area
With the recent reports of declining populations of the bumblebee, it is for us to be thinking of ways we can help to bring them into our gardens. In doing so, we can help in building our area bee populations. Bees are necessary for growing important foods like berries and tomatoes. Their size, long tongues and pollination behavior increase the efficiency of the pollen transfer to these crops.
There are 260 species of bumblebees world wide. There are 46 species of bees in North America with 21 east of the Mississippi River. Someone who is not an expert may not realize how many species their particular area may harbor. They can usually be found in meadows and fields as well as prairies, gardens and woodland edges.
Observations have recently shown a decline in several species of the North American populations of bumblebees, as much as 96% in four specific species. Economic as well as environmental concerns have made these declining populations a global matter. However, evidence is lacking to the direct causes and published studies usually are only applicable in localized growing areas such as Illinois, southern Oregon, northern California, and Canada.
Several different types of bumblebees can be observed in a given area through out a growing season. The most important thing you can do in bringing and keeping bumblebees in your area is to not disturb an existing nest. The bumblebee queen will look for an isolated place to nest. A place such as under leaves or clippings in the yard or perhaps a rodent hole in the ground are ideal areas. It takes a complete season for the colony to fully develop and their nests are annual.
A landscape should be pesticide-free and the flowers chosen should be of the continuously flowering type. If you remain patient and watchful, you may observe the queen looking for a place to nest. She will fly low to the ground and will be flying in and out of old rodent holes and other similar structures. You will know where to keep the activity in that area to a minimum so as not to disturb her during the season.
Image: Courtesy Cebix.net
About Eve Sherrill York
Eve has been writing online for about eight years. She enjoys writing, research, reading, and gardening.