When we think of natural garden landscaping in Texas Hill Country, one of our important friends to remember is the bee. Pesticide spraying and lack of natural habitat is leading to a lack of bees to pollinate our crops.
Bees are necessary not only for honey and beeswax, but for food production as well. We may not even realize how important they are to our survival. Our food crops such as apples, berries, chestnuts, almonds, beans, tomatoes, carrots, even cotton and soybean all depend on bee's pollination. Livestock is even dependent on bees pollinating their clover.
A win/win situation for all, planting flowers, fruits and vegetables will attract bees, serving several purposes:
- Saving the bees
- Saving ourselves
- Eating healthier
- Saving money
The more variety of flowers and plants, the more bee species will be attracted. Without bees, many plants fail to set seed and without flowering plants, there is no food for bees. No bees means no food or flowers.
Since bees need nesting sites that are undisturbed, sunny and have a variety of flowering plants, that corner of your yard that is allowed to be natural will go a long way toward protecting one of our necessary neighbors.
If a garden is too much to handle, helpful hints such as cutting up leftover fruit and dropping into a recycled plastic jug to entice bees will help keep bees happy, and helping us at the same time.