Among the many things that beekeepers are concerned with, of primary importance is the available foraging opportunities their honey bees have throughout the growing season. Depending on where you are in the state, the growing season could be March through November. As one person said, “No forage, no bees.” That will be a sad day if the honey bees disappear. There are areas in the State of Connecticut where the soil is so poor that nothing grows, and therefore it’s a desert for bees. In a sense, we need to be concerned with the soil's quality to produce beautiful forage, have healthy honey bees, and wonderful tasting honey. Beekeepers are becoming keenly aware that habitat degradation and destruction is the primary cause for many hives to struggle and/or decline. We could assist the bees by gardening for them, that is, planting for bees. Not every plant, shrub, or tree is helpful to the bees, so discerning what is useful is critical. Search Google for the plant name with the word “honey bees.” Plus, there is a growing body of print materials identifying the good plants to purchase. The information will be helpful for your garden goals. For example, did you know that honey bees love herbs? Have you planted borage, chamomile, chives (onion & garlic), cilantro, comfrey, and dill? Just don’t plant one plant but as many as your garden and budget can handle. Plant in quantity, so the bees find the plants. Another one of CBA's goal is to nurture abundant pollinator habitats across Connecticut by planting native plants. Bee-friendly plants in quality and quantity will change the beauty of your landscape and feed the honey bees. CBA wants to help the membership by educating, propagating, and cultivating healthy, diverse, and vibrant gardens. Let us know what your experience is and share your insight. Some resources: Litchfield Land Trust & White Memorial Plant Sale Fundraiser is happening now. You need to order your plants by May 14. This program is a terrific help to veteran and novice gardeners. More information: https://whitememorialcc.org/plant-sale/ Pollinator Pathways: https://www.pollinator-pathway.org The Xerces Society: https://xerces.org Native Plant List for CT, MA and RI: http://www.plantnative.org/rpl-nes.htm Pollinator Program: https://portal.ct.gov/CAES/Publications/Publications/Pollinator-Information Keep a bloom calendar! It will inform your work with and for the honey bees!
CBA Board - Member at Large