The Go Go Bees!

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The Go Go Bees!

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I received an email the other day about my post How Can We Bee … Helpful?asking were there any particular flowers or herbs that bees really love? Well yes, yes there are!

We do all have to bee mindful of our little pollinators, for without them, life on our planet will simply not bee the same! If anything at all. I am oft surprised at how few people understand the impact our bees have on everything we eat.

So what can we do to help save the bees in our gardens more? Research undertaken by many authorities has shown that the planting of more herbs in our gardens encourages and motivates the bees to bee more pro-active in the daily tasks.

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Herbs are great to grow anyway, as so many of them have primary and secondary uses in the household from medicinal purposes to dietary garnishing and flavouring, perfumery and scented properties and to boot, they actually smell really nice most of the time. So you can use herbs fresh or dried.

You know as said herbs have many uses not just for the bees which you will read about in a moment but for us – culinary delights and herbal teas. Medicinally  herbs have been grown and harvested for centuries and were used in prehistoric medicines, and as far back as 5000BCE [Before Common Era] they were being used as one of the forerunners to many of the artificial chemical medications we have today.

But equally herbs were used in religions – monks used to grow a lot of herbs alongside their vegetables and not just for the additional properties of use, but also as companion plants to some of those vegetables – some herbs act as a ‘back off predator’ to some of the pests who invade our gardens yearly.

We see a strong return to herbal cosmetics which were used as such as far back as six centuries ago when mixtures of herbs were being milled up and turned into pastes to whiten the face – but even today we still have many cosmetics that rely heavily upon herbs – from face creams and scrubs to lipsticks, body oils and natural fragrances.

Some herbs can be used exclusively by gardeners not just in the aforementioned role of companion planting, but many also when soaked and stewed can be used to act as insecticides and preventers, some have astringent scents attached to them which many pests simply do not like, and others have a sticky surface trapping many pests to them.

So having a herb garden or space allocated to growing herbs, or just mixing herbs with your natural garden produce does have the dual benefit of helping you as well as all of our pollinators.

Check out the link below …

10 Surprising Uses for Herbs

More than just a garnish

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Herbs Bee Specific

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In the garden Suze and l have here, we have chosen to have a mixture of herbs mixed in with the main bulk of our flowers, shrubs and bushes in addition to specifically cultivating herbs for indoor uses. Of course last year l went a bit nuts and now we have a LOT of different mints in the garden and they are , well invasive is such a hostile word – so l will opt for the word “Enthusiastic”, and already they are enthusiastically growing and making their presence known. But in addition to those we also have the following nectar filled herbs which to bees is a bit like ‘go go juice’, it really turns them on!

Global bee populations are declining, dangerously so they are one of the biggest pollinators to the world’s food production, so keeping them with us is not just important to our wellbeeing but paramount almost to our survival. Pesticide poisonings and aggressive agricultural farming methods, climate change and suburbanisation are amongst the chief culprits  to these populations declining so as gardeners we need to do everything within our powers to increase the populations and keep our bees healthy.

Here are six plants that we have in our garden in abundance that bees adore!

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Comfrey

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Oregano

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Thyme

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Rosemary

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Lavender

You know you could miss everything and just have a garden filled with lavenders and everyone would be happy!

Of course there are other herbs you can plant that produce smaller blossoms but they still attract pollinators and that is the name of this game! You want to attract pollinators to your gardens. If you would like further ideas check out the link below.

10 easy to grow herbs: Best herbs for cooking and bees

Of course you don’t have to grow all of these herbs mentioned, you can just grow a few, but the main point is to have somewhere for the bees to go to where they are in a nutrient filled environment that helps them sustain their life and their whole essence of life as well as ours.

Food for thoughts indeed.

Thanks for reading.

Rory

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7 thoughts on “The Go Go Bees!

  1. Awesome Post Rory!!! I grow most of these herbs and more. We are bee keepers as well as farmers. We like to take a natural approach to our efforts so we try to make sure the bees have adequate food sources to forage throughout the spring, summer, and fall (rather than feeding them sugar water). Last year we planted patches of sunflowers and buckwheat a few different times during the year so they would blossom at different times. Personally I feel that herbs are an important part of the bee diet possibly helping to build their immune system. (Just my thought never seen any studies on it).
    You don’t have to plant a lot of mint to end up with a lot of mint. LOL. I really think mint gets a bad rap. We, or at least I, should be cooking with it more. I have added dried, powdered, mint leaves to brownies before. YUMM! and also infused mint into vodka. I don’t mind that my enthusiastic plants have crept into my lawn – it is very refreshing when I mow that area. Our honey bees will also forage our mint plants when they blossom. One time I even tasted mint in our honey.

    1. Hey Ruth – the word ‘enthusiastic’ is appropriate for mints don’t you think ha ha – we have due to my planting something akin to nine different mints who as said DON’T need any encouragement!!

      I use mint in ice cubes in the summer, infact quite a few herbs end up in ice cubes at times as it’s great for keeping them fresh.

      I thought you might be bee keepers – Suze wants to keep bees but says l am too clumsy so l best just write about them ha! she is probably right …

      I think you might be right about the herbs stabilising a bees system, that’s actually quite a nice research project and l will have a look into that and post the results – but why can it not be valid, herbs are not just useful to humans – dogs eat herbs and grass to settle a poorly stomach and also if you have ever watched hares and brush rabbits in the morning, dawn and dusk, they are very adept at nibble here, nibble there and they mix their grasses and herbs, l have seen them do it, so it makes sense for animals to understand forgaing and the properties.

      Thanks for the awesome comment Ruth and stopping by 🙂

      1. I know that some beekeepers use essentials oils like lemon grass, thyme, spearmint… to help keep bees healthy. I wonder if by foraging those plants the bees can get the same benefits naturally.
        If you do study this I would love to hear what you find out.
        My son-in-law just started his first hive, on our farm, last week and we will be setting up 5 new hive in early May. I will be posting about these.
        Have a great day Rory!

        1. Hey Ruth, l will indeed, it’s quite the project and l will keep you in the loop, l am writing about the garden and the compost heap later on today 🙂

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