• March 29, 2020

GARDENING: Bees provide many benefits - Odessa American: Gardening

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GARDENING: Bees provide many benefits

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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2020 12:45 am

Let’s talk about bees! I am a lover of all things insect. I consider myself an armchair entomologist. Insects are so often associated with negative things they are pests most of the time.

Eating away at your backyard vegetables, sometimes even making their way inside of your house and infesting. But there are so many important roles that these little critters fill in our ecosystem. The most common insect we all hear about in the news are bees. “Save the Bees” is constantly plastered across headlines. Here are a few fun facts about bees that will hopefully encourage you to see them as friends and some tips on how we can help them thrive.

Bees of course help us by pollinating, lots of plants require what is called cross pollination to germinate. This means pollen from the male part (anther) of the flower needs to come in contact with the female part (stigma) of the plant. When bees go out in search of pollen flying from flower to flower, they spread the pollen already attached to them to other flowers. Thus, helping plants to bloom and grow.

Without this cross-pollination plants cannot mature and produce seeds, these seeds turn into new plants of course but seeds are also a food source for many birds and wild animals, meaning bees help provide food for other animals in the ecosystem.

If you hate artificial sweeteners in your teas and drinks a great natural sweetener comes in the form of honey that is produced by none other than bees. We use honey for so many sweet treats and its antibacterial properties help it store for very long amounts of time. Not only do humans eat honey but so do other wild animals such as birds, raccoons and opossums.

Planting a diverse number of flowers in your landscape is a great way to ensure they always have a source of pollen. Ensuring you plant flowers that have been treated with minimal insecticides. When the bees collect pollen off these plants, they can be affected by this.

With a little bit of work, we can help these fuzzy critters continue to thrive in our ecosystem for our benefit as well as theirs.

Odessa, TX

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