Before a flower can set seed or form fruit, it needs to be pollinated. Though some plants are pollinated by bats, birds, butterflies, moths, and wasps, most of the work is done by bees. Bees are in serious trouble, though. Their numbers are in sharp decline, mainly because of shrinking habitat. Fortunately, bees have some dedicated advocates like the Xerces Society. And home gardeners can help too.
Here’s what you can do to promote a bee-friendly environment in your garden.
Grow plants that bear flowers with plenty of nectar and pollen. Some native bees and native plants, including penstemon and salvia, are literally made for each other.
Old-fashioned, heirloom-type flowers like bee balm, black-eyed Susan, cleome, sunflower, and zinnia are also excellent; they have more pollen and nectar than highly developed hybrids.
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