Bee-Friendly Gardens

We have tried to overwinter bees for the last five years with varying success. Sometimes we can overwinter a few, but most of the time they disappear during the cold months.

Usually, we just order new nucs (small honeybee colonies) from local bee keepers for delivery every spring.

I decorated our hives last year in hopes that the bees would find them more hospitable.

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Some Día de los Muertos images.

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An homage to Swamp Cabbage.

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Some more folkloric inspired designs.

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These bees were all buzzing last May.  It is frustrating to not overwinter them, but we do feel like we are at least trying to do our part.  I do know that when we do have bees, the garden goes NUTS.

When I saw a The Bee-Friendly Garden by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn at Blogging for BooksI had to request a copy.

bee friendly garden

I have a few books on pollinator friendly plants, but this book by Frey and LeBuhn is the most informative.  Not only does it list bee-friendly plants by regions, but the book also contains descriptions of all the different pollinators from honey bees to mason bees.   The book is full of beautiful photographs and will make you want to become a steward for all pollinators.  Besides this most worthy goal, bee gardens also do the following:

  • contain a gorgeous variety of flowers
  • bloom continuously throughout the seasons
  • are organic, pesticide-free, and ecologically sustainable
  • develop healthy and fertile soil
  • attract birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects
  • increase the quantity of your fruit and vegetable harvest (I can certainly attest to this one!)
  • improve the quality, flavor, and size of your produce

Although we have tried to plant bee-friendly plants (like different varieties of rain trees which bloom in the fall and the spring), I know that I will be going back to this book as an important resource as the garden and flowerbeds take shape this year.

Publisher blurb for The Bee-Friendly Garden:

In The Bee-Friendly Garden, award-winning garden designer Kate Frey and bee expert Gretchen LeBuhn provide everything you need to know to create a dazzling garden that helps both the threatened honeybee and our own native bees. No matter how small or large your space, and regardless of whether you live in the city, suburbs, or country, just a few simple changes to your garden can fight the effects of colony collapse disorder and the worldwide decline in bee population that threatens our global food chain.

Illustrated with spectacular full-color photos, The Bee-Friendly Garden debunks myths about bees, explains seasonal flower progression, and provides detailed instructions for nest boxes and water features. From “super blooming” flowers to regional plant lists and plants to avoid, The Bee-Friendly Garden is an essential tool for every gardener who cares about the planet and wants to make their yard a welcoming habitat for nature’s most productive pollinator.

I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions, exclamations, gushing and rants are my own.




9 comments to Bee-Friendly Gardens

  • Cool looking hives! I grabbed that one off Blogging for Books too and found it fairly interesting. Hey, great see you at Deb’s linkup for Souper Sunday.

  • Hi Debra:)
    Just yesterday I was contemplating bee keeping. I’ve heard it can be so difficult to over Winter bees and yet it does sound like a worthy project. Perhaps one day:)

    This book most certainly sounds like a fabulous resource to have handy. Your hives look awesome, Debra! Don’t give up, I’m rootin’ for ya:)

    Thanks for sharing, Debra…

  • What a great post, something I really haven’t thought about. But Scott is really dabbling in gardening this year and I will tell him about the book, thanks!

  • mjskit

    I need to get this book! We have a swarm set up a hive in my next door neighbor’s front yard a couple of years ago and our garden went crazy, crazy! The one day, the bees and hive just disappeared. I wish I had them back. We need more bees! Love your hives!!!

  • […] was trying to snap a picture of this crazy small bee in the bottom right corner.   I referred to The Bee-Friendly Garden in an attempt to identify it.   I don’t think it’s a sweat bee but I can’t […]