This wildflower seed mixture provides honey bee forage for the entire growing season. It includes annual and perennial flowers that are proven favorites of honey bees in our garden.
Our Honey Bee Pollinator Seed Mix is beloved by our precious honey bees, which are vital for pollination of many flowereing crops such as alfalfa, almonds, apples, beans, berries, melons, tomatoes, peppers and many others.
This Honey Bee Pollinator Seed Mix includes:
|Tips On Growing Wildflowers - How Much To Plant, How To Care For Them |
Every garden space has its own square footage. Multiply the length of your yard by its width to get an estimate that's good enough to work with for scattering your wildflower seed. Depending upon your tastes, you may want to scatter your wildflower seeds sparely - a few here, a few there - or your ideal may be a meadow densely covered with glorious bloom. 1 Lb. of wildflower seed will provide scattered, more roomy cover for a yard that is 4000 sq. feet, while that same 1 Lb. will turn a 1500 sq. foot garden into a densely flowering display.
General Information on this Wildflower Seed Mix:
|More on the Importance of Honeybee Pollination and Conservation|
Honey Bee Pollination Honey bees do not just produce wax and honey - they are extremely valuable pollinators of many agricultural crops. Honey bees are not native to the U.S. - they originally came from Europe and were brought over by early colonists. The list of crops that are pollinated by honey bees is endless - including fruits, berries, nuts, clovers, alfalfa, canola, and many vegetables. Alfalfa is an important forage crop in the U.S.
Honey bee colonies have long been managed by beekeepers to provide pollination services for crops as well as for honey production. Honey bee populations have been in decline in recent years. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, there has been a loss of about one third of honey bee hives in beekeeping operations across the United States.
Recent studies suggest that these declines have been caused by the combination of several factors which may include infectious pathogens, malnutrition, stress, and pesticides.
Most recently, beekeepers have been striving to reduce pesticide use near hives and investing more in food supplies for their bees. Planting flowers that produce pollen and nectar, especially during the weeks when crops are not blooming, help to provide nutrition to honey bees throughout the entire season. With enhanced nutrition and health, honey bees will be better equipped to fend off disease, pathogens, and the effects of stress.
|Native Bee Pollination According to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, there are over 4000 species of native bees in the U.S. alone. Bees are the most predominant pollinators of flowering plants in nature, thus contributing a vital service to the ecosystem. Because of this important role, bees are referred to as "keystone organisms". |
Some native bees have names that reflect how they build nests - leafcutter bees, mason bees, miner bees, carpenter bees, digger bees, etc. Others are named for their behavior, which include bumble bees, sweat bees, and cuckoo bees. Finally there are some bees that are named for the types of plants they pollinate such as squash, sunflower and blueberry bees.
If honey bees are in short supply, the pollination needs of many crops can often be filled by native bees. Research has shown that native bees can be major pollinators of agricultural crops and sometimes do the job more efficiently.
|For instance, the blue orchard bee is a primary pollinator of cultivated apples. Another important crop pollinator is the western bumble bee, which has been used to pollinate cranberries, avocadoes, and blueberries. Native squash bees are major pollinators of cultivated squashes. Some native bees are even commercially managed like honey bees to provide pollination services.|
Native Bee Conservation There was a time when native bees and wild honey bees performed all of a farmer's pollination needs because of the presence of natural areas nearby. These natural areas provided nesting sites, food and protection for the bees. Because of the way agricultural landscapes are developed today, there is often a lack of native bee habitat and forage near farms. Techniques to encourage native bees to live in your area are simple to implement. These can be done on a farm or in a home garden.
There are 2 ways to engage in native bee conservation. You can preserve known nesting and foraging sites on your property, or you can create them. Good bee habitat must include water, areas for nesting or egg-laying and secure over-wintering sites. Flowers that provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season will provide adequate food.
| These habitat and forage areas should never be treated with insecticides or other harmful chemicals. If insecticides are utilized in the vicinity of bee habitat, they should be applied when they have the lowest impact possible on local bee populations. This might entail spraying pesticides only when bees are not active. |
The best time to plant in your area depends on the climate and rainfall patterns as well as the species you are planting. In cool climates, plant annuals, perennials or mixtures of annuals and perennials in spring, early summer or late fall. Fall plantings should be late enough so that seeds do not germinate until spring. Perennials can also be sown in early fall provided that there are at least 10-12 weeks of growing time before the plants go dormant for the winter. Late fall plantings are advantageous when supplemental irrigation cannot be provided and adequate rainfall is anticipated in the spring.
In mild climates, plant during the cooler months of the year; fall through spring, for best results. Fall plantings done prior to periods of rainfall will insure an early display of flowers the following spring.
Many wildflowers benefit from some fertilization if the soil does not have adequate nutrients. Some wildflowers do fine in poor soils, while others require a more fertile environment. We recommend that a soil test be performed when soil quality is unknown. If the soil needs improvement, use a low nitrogen fertilizer with a 5-10-10 ratio or add organic matter such as weed-free straw or grass clippings, well-rotted compost, peat moss, or leaf mold. In addition to adding nutrients, organic materials enhance soil structure and encourage beneficial microorganisms. Avoid over-fertilizing which may promote weed growth and lush foliage rather than flowers.