Friday, March 23, 2012

Starkville Garden Expo Lunch Lecture: Bee Gardens

Audrey Sheridan, an entomologist at Mississippi State University brought an observation hive to Book Mart in Starkville as part of her lunch lecture on how to garden for bees. The "hive" holds 2 frames and has a space for a feeder, to keep the bees happy.

I took lots of notes, but the primary thing I'm doing right, when it comes to gardening for bees, is to grow herbs and allow them to flower. My sage and chives survived the winter, my bee balm has bounced back, and my parsley is about to bloom. If you're not sure about what to plant to attract pollinators, start with some hearty herbs. Bees like blue and white flowers best. The main thing to remember is that one can't plant enough flowers to sustain a hive, but choosing plants that will extend the nectar season helps provide a diverse diet for honey bees and other pollinators.

After her thorough presentation, she kindly took questions about bees, since Mark and I were two of the 7 people in attendance. Mark got to ask some things he's had on his mind, so that was good.

It was also a good thing Mark was there, because the site didn't have an extension cord, so he went to his truck and got his. It's so nice to be married to a man who is handy!

I came home with a renewed enthusiasm for planting . . . to find my raised beds overrun with weeds and ant hills. Yuck.

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