June is National Pollinator Month! Many pollinators, including honeybees and native bees, are in trouble and need our help. Here are five ways your family can create a bee-friendly garden to provide local pollinators with the food, shelter and safety they need to do their work and raise their young.
“Bee” gentle. Pollinating bugs and birds are fragile and easily hurt. Be calm and quiet when you see a butterfly, bee, beetle or hummingbird outside — look, but don’t touch!
“Bee” choosy. Select a variety of flowering plants, trees and shrubs to plant — including lots of native species — that will bloom from spring into fall, providing reliable sources of nectar and pollen for them to feed on.
“Bee” smart. Using pesticides (even those certified for organic gardens) to kill “bad bugs” harms pollinators, too. Keep pesticide use to a minimum, and commit to buying only organic fruits and vegetables as another important way to protect pollinators.
“Bee” a good landlord. Provide pollinators with a consistent source of water, such as a shallow basin of water, slow faucet drip or a good old-fashioned mud puddle. Learn how to make a safe nesting habitat for pollinating bees, such as mason bees, to get started.
“Bee”come an expert. Our pollinator friends are fascinating — and vital to the production of one-third of the crops we depend on. Grow your mason beekeeping skills and you'll do more than just impress your friends.
Editor's note: This article was sponsored by Molbak's. Family-owned Molbak’s Garden + Home has been part of the city of Woodinville since 1956. Its mission is to connect people with one another and their surroundings through gardening, educational events and community involvement.