Springtime brings our world back to life, from beautiful vibrant reds and purples in our flower beds to lush greens in our trees and grass.
Did you know that it takes more than sunshine and water to make our world green?
At least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of all plants require cross-pollination to spread and thrive, and here in Canada, bees are important pollinators, our bird population following closely behind.
Unfortunately, bee and bird population here and around the world are in decline.
So how can we help?
When I am shopping for new plants this spring, I will think bee friendly. It will not only bring me healthy and vibrant gardens, but it will also ensure that bees continue to play their vital role in our ecosystem.
But bees sting? Why do we want to encourage them instead of driving them away?
So just think about this:
1). The important parts of our diet are reliant on bees.
2). Pollinators ensure the reproduction of plants and survival of our wildlife who depend on those plants for food and shelter.
3). Bees are responsible for an estimated one out of three bites of food that people eat, worth billions of dollars to the North American economy.
How can we live in harmony?
Have you heard of Mason Bees?
Mason bees are beautiful, gentle native bees that are also excellent pollinators. Pollination is key as it leads to the production of fruits we eat, and seeds that will create more plants. Mason Bees are extremely friendly and can be great for kids who want see the nest and watch the bees in action.
I like to buy plants that Mason Bees love like Asters, Poppies, Black-eyed Susan’s and Alyssum. Herbs like mint and lavender are great choices too. You can also grow some Hyacinth in the spring, Bee balm in the summer, and Zinnias in the fall.
You can also purchase Mason Bees Houses. A Mason Bee house is a bundle of bamboo tubes that provide a place for mason bees to reproduce and gather pollen and nectar for their young.
I purchased one that is not only to support these bees, but looks very cute as an accessory for my backyard.
To order one, go to this link: https://www.wayfair.ca/outdoor/pdp/evergreen-flag-garden-mason-tower-bee-house-egfg9493.html?&experiencetype=1
An estimated 1,200 bird species face extinction over the next century, with many more suffering from severe habitat loss. This should be a universal concern.
Why are birds so important?
· Birds keep farmers in business, by reducing insects and pests.
· Birds protect our drinking water by preventing erosion.
· They slow the spread of disease.
· They keep the furniture industry supplied with timber.
· They provide critical environmental data.
Did you also know that scientists have determined that birds eat 450 to 550 million tons of insects each year? Inviting more birds to your property this spring may allow you more days and evenings outside without the nuisance of bugs.
Here a few a few birds to invite to your property:
Purple Martins. Purple Martins are one of nature's best mosquito repellents
Bluebirds: Eat grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, larvae, moths.
Cardinals: Eat beetles, grasshoppers, leaf hoppers, stinkbugs, snails.
Chickadees: Eat caterpillars, ants, earwigs.
Having cute feeders, and bird houses around your property can add some charm to your gardens. Also, planting flowers that produce seeds in your gardens will save you money on bird seed.
Here is a cute Purple Martin House I found on Wayfair for $41.00.
Visit this link to order one for yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I hope you have been inspired to look at your gardens differently this year, by inviting the birds and the bees into our spaces to live together in harmony. Our planet thanks us, for every small change we make.
Live simple, love your space.