Bees are declining all over the world, for multiple reasons.
The most serious one in my estimation is habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation…in other words… Homelessness!
This is not a problem at Bealtaine Cottage, as Bee habitat and food source creation was implemented in the early years of the Bealtaine project.
As a direct consequence of this, the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage are thriving!
This is a part of the new Lughnasadh Garden, created especially for the bees and butterflies.
One only has to plant it and they will come! One only has to be a little untidy and they will create a home!
Sadly, many gardeners are not aware of the ways in which habitat and food source can be secured and managed for wildlife. Here I’ve planted Blueberry bushes, and heaped mulch around them…a possible habitat! The flowers are pollinated by bees and in return I get masses of fruit!
However, some time spent observing Nature can be very empowering and planting near the cottage means I get to sit and watch the bees and butterflies as well as discover more about their feeding habits.
In planning and planting this new garden, I observed a quiet respect for “nooks and crannies,” …stones, logs, small mounds…all areas of potential habitat. When cutting back the Jostaberry, above, I stacked the cut wood underneath the bush as potential habitat. Some species of Butterflies can over-winter, (leaf piles are particularly good!) and guess what…I got to see two butterflies in the garden at the end of March!
The sight of new and first butterflies in spring is a joyful, reaffirming vision of hope.
Water availability, layers of plants, trees, shrubs, a succession of flowers for the majority of the year…and much more was taken into the planning and planting of the garden. Habitat and food are the main drivers in my planning and planting.
The trending emphasis, when it comes to bee-decline, seems to be on bee-keeping rather than bee-habitat…the latter being something that each of us can do something about.
For my part, I don’t keep bees…they keep me…and all are wild and free!
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