Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers. ~Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
I’ve been dreaming about bees lately. I’m allergic to their stings, so it can be a bit alarming when they follow me around Dreamland. Nevertheless, I love seeing them in the garden and welcome their beauty and soft buzzing sound.
A TED talk recently reminded me of how important bees are to our planet and food supply. Each one of us can make a difference if we plant a flower. Perhaps some of you see flowers as important only for their aesthetic beauty and regard vegetables as the practical heart of the garden, but that is not the whole picture. Without flowers, we have no pollinators, and without pollinators we have no fruits and vegetables. Recent field studies show that planting a few flowers can change the ecology of any landscape for the better as well as provide food for insects and birds. So please your eye and please your palate – plant a flower and make the world a better place.
TED Talks: Why Bees are Disappearing
Immerse your self in the wonder of pollinators with Schwartzberg’s The Hidden Beauty of Pollination (pollinator footage starts around 3:15)
For a look at how flowers affected the evolution of our world, read National Geographic’s The Big Bloom – How Flowering Plants Changed the World
The Penn State Extension has a great guide for planting Pollinator Friendly Gardens.
Doug Tallamy’s site Gardening for Life: Bringing Nature Home gives even more insight and suggestions on the importance of native plants for sustaining our natural world.
Deborah DeLong has a lovely blog, Romancing the Bee, on urban beekeeping, gardening, and cooking with honey.
If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live. ~Albert Einstein