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Thoughts & Musings by Sandra Visnapuu

The Ravenous Honey Bee

September is leading us into Fall, which if you are a ‘Honey Bee’, beckons hard work ahead. It is also National Honey Month. With the days getting shorter, instinctively they are driven with the need to be well-fed to make it through the harsh winter months in Connecticut.

 September is National Honey Month

September is National Honey Month

From the onset I must issue a confession. Chemical free is not a word used loosely, however, I choose to do so.

In my garden I welcome the Honey Bee, but a favorite is the Bumble Bee, who can be so enormous you wonder how they manage to take flight. Recently, having read an environmental report, describing the Honey Bee decline I was nostalgically thrown back in time. It was true what they wrote, when we were children my Grandparents always took us for Sunday drives. The window shields were covered with bug splotches. Even with short drives we needed to stop to have them washed en route. That doesn’t happen often, now. CHEMICALS do work but they don’t choose who gets to live. We need the Bees to pollinate our gardens - for flowers and our delicious fruits and vegetables.

 Bee Nice to Bees!

Bee Nice to Bees!

Top Tip

This morning I sprayed my roses for black spot and other fungal diseases with cream and water. You can use milk but I find the cream sticks better. The ratio is 1/4 cup of cream (or milk) and 3/4 water. The solution changes the PH of the fungus kiling it. I have also resorted to picking Japanese beetles off them and been known to buy large boxes of Lady Bugs. I have a water fountain, I share with the deer and grow flowers on this side of the ‘Mason Dixon Line’ (within a fence).

The decline in the Honey Bees has not been determined completely, but we know that cold, drought and chemicals are a given. We also know that we can plant Bee-friendly flowers, fruits and vegetables - to encourage their come back.

If you have a large property you might consider planting a patch with wild flowers, especially native ones. Left unkempt the Honey Bee will respond with there own wild abandon.

Plant flowers with a single row of PETALS rather than double rowed, because they have more pollen and are easier for bees to cross rows.

Yellow, white, blue and purple flowers are more attractive than pinks, oranges and reds to bees.

From Spring’s first Snowdrops, Tulips, Wisterias and Lilacs to Summers Peonies, Honeysuckle, Roses and Delphiniums. Fall cannot be forgotten with the Dahlia, Sunflowers and its harvest of fruit, herbs and vegetables for the Honey Bee’s ravenous appetite.

There is nothing loved more by the Honey Bee - than a mixed perennial bed in full bloom
Sandra Visnapuu