We love any campaign that brings awareness to the diminishing population of pollinators. General Mills launched the #BringBackTheBeesCampaign last week and while it’s garnered some negative commentary, the intent is a great effort by the company. Getting people involved a little now could generate interest in a big way down the road.
As beekeepers, we encourage everyone to plant bee-friendly flowers, herbs, and plants, especially those that are native to your area. Native flowers are most beneficial to the environment and will result in optimal nectar production and happy pollinators. It’s really a two-way street as gardens will benefit exponentially from strong bee populations.
The types of plants that bees have access to absolutely effects the look and taste of their honey. For example, our summer harvested Sweet Comb Chicago honey is light in color with hints of mint flavor, due to the presence of mint in and around our backyard apiary. Our fall harvested Sweet Comb Chicago honey, has a deeper amber color and a more robust flavoring, due to the abundance of goldenrod in our neighborhood. This honey is high in antioxidants.
If you’re going to help the bees by planting, always avoid the use of pesticides in your garden. Check labels and seek other methods of pest control. We can easily give our little bee friends a wing up if we’re a little more mindful of what’s best for them.
Good job to General Mills for trying to move the conversation front and center, now just a little more research is needed on your part to customize the best gardening plan in your area to help the bees. Plant away and may your gardens and your bees be prosperous.