One of our previous posts about bees featured a wonderful video, A Ghost in the Making ,about this bee and now there is an article in the Virginia Mercury.
Virginia’s vanishing bee: State works to save rusty patched bumblebee
It’s not certain what has caused the dramatice decline our native rusty patched bumblebee and many other creatures, but we do know that human activity is the primary cause. The plants we choose and the products we use in our yards make a big difference to the other creatures we share our world with. If you have not yet seen the previous posts about bees please take a look now.
Let’s make our watershed a great place to live.
Bees and all other critters need the same things we do: food, housing for the family, and a safe place to live. Bees require nectar for themselves, pollen for their offspring. Providing food is one of the best things we can do. Here are our suggestions for BEE friendly yards and neighborhoods.
- Please plant native species. (Avoid cultivars. Some do not produce as much pollen or nectar as the native species; others limit access to food due to changes in petal arrangement or shape of the flower. )
- Provide a variety of species that will bloom at different times.
- Plant in groups of the same species. A group of plants will attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered through the garden.
- If you have limited space, work with your neighbors to create pollinator habitat with a variety of species on your block.
- Learn about how plants containing a group of pesticides known as Neonicotinoids will harm bees and other pollinators.
Pollinator Plants for the Mid Atlantic *
*Not all plants on this list are native to our area. An example is the purple coneflower. Digital Atlas of Virginia Flora is a good reference for those who want to use plants specific for Central Virginia. Refer to the map for each species.
Physostegia virginiana (obedient plant)
This post is dedicated to the memory of our friend and one of the founders of Reedy Creek Coalition, Robin Ruth. Her dying wish was “save the bees”, but we think she meant much more than that. Bees were just her project at the time. Robin cared deeply for the natural world from the soil teeming with life to the tops of the trees and every living thing between.
This video, A Ghost in the Making, is about a bumble bee that was once common and is now nearly extinct. That decline has occurred right here in Virginia.
What we do in our yards is now more important than ever for water quality AND for ecosystem health. Your yard can be and should become part of a network of native plants that support the bees, birds, butterflies and others that are part of a complex and resilient ecosystem. It is our hope that our neighborhood becomes a place where all properties do something to support that network and make it a great place to live.
We would like to help support that effort by offering a clump of mountain mint, a great pollinator plant, to five people who live in or near the Reedy Creek Watershed and have viewed the video. Names will be drawn on April 30th. Use our contact form to get your name in the hat. Comment MOUNTAIN MINT.
The images below show just a few of the insect species that visit mountain mint.
This post is dedicated to the memory of our friend and one of the founders of Reedy Creek Coalition, Robin Ruth. Her dying wish was “save the bees”, but we think she meant much more than that. Bees were just her project at the time. Robin cared deeply for the natural world from the soil teeming with life to the tops of the trees and every living thing between. We plan a series of posts with information about bees, birds, butterflies and perhaps other critters that need our help.