Edmonton Native Plant Society
native plant stewards
Why are Bees Important?
by Judith Golub on June 10th, 2010

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”
Albert Einstein
Bees are such important pollinators that every third bite of food that we take is either directly or indirectly the result of pollinating bees. Since 2006 there have been reports of honeybees disappearing by the millions across North America and Europe. No one quite knows why. Climate change, viral infections, pesticide use, monoculture large-scale agriculture, GM crops and general habitat loss are some of the possible reasons.

How to help:

• Do not use pesticides in your garden.
• Plant bee-friendly plants in your garden.
• Write or phone City Council and ask that they include bee-friendly native plants along roadsides and in parks.
• Plant native wildflowers.
• Plant flowers to bloom throughout the season – bees need flowers in early spring and late autumn, not just in summertime.
• Support local beekeepers by buying their honey.
• Build bee houses to help bees over-winter.
Some bee-friendly native plants:

SPRING
Prairie Crocus. Anemone patens, April
Prairie Buttercup. Ranunculus rhomboideus, April, May
Canada Violet. Viola canadensis, May, June, July
Early Blue Violet. Viola adunca, May, June
Three-flowered Avens. Geum triflorum, May, June
Pussy-toes. Antennaria spp. May, June
Slender Blue Beardtongue. Penstemon procerus, June, July
Heart-leaved Alexanders. Zizia aptera, May, June, July
Harebell. Campanula rotundifolia, June till September
Alpine Hedysarum. Hedysarum alpinum, June, July
Wild Blue Flax. Linum lewisii, June, July

SUMMER
Meadow Blazingstar. Liatris ligulistylis, July, August
Giant Hyssop. Agastache foeniculum, July, August
Smooth Fleabane. Erigeron glabellus, July, August
Gaillardia. Gaillardia aristata, July, August
Golden-aster. Heterotheca villosa, July, August
Wild Bergamot. Monarda fistulosa, July, August
Low Goldenrod. Solidago missouriensis, July, August

AUTUMN
Common Tall Sunflower. Helianthus nuttallii, August, September
Showy Aster. Aster conspicuous, August, September
Stiff Goldenrod . Solidago rigida, August, September
Smooth Aster. Aster laevis, August, September


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