enticements for bees

Hi to all gardeners Does anyone have any suggestions on how to entice bees to increase their numbers? What flowers do they particularly like? Do those little bee houses actually work? I no longer use insecticides - except on rare occasions when a prized plant is about to succumb - and then only such specific things as bacillus thuringensis for caterpillers and spray only that particular spot where the nasties are. Could even this small amount of spray be too much for the bees? I even dug up all the roses that seemed to have black spot all the time. I have a lot of flowers in summer and despite being in my garden everyday for a couple of hours, I only see about 5 bees a summer. Can home gardens help bees in some way or has the problem originated in some area other than than residential yards? Thanks for any suggestions Clarissa Vancouver BC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I plant borage every year in my garden. The bees love it. My daughter put up two bee houses last fall. No sign of bees using them yet. Marilyn

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't know, but my parent's house back fence has attracted two or three hives in the last three years (I think one was allowed to double), and my apartment building attracted two more!
In all four cases, the hives were destroyed. Seems a terrible waste!
J.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As others have said there are lists available.
Do

BT will not harm bees at all. Insecticidal sprays certainly will but if you use the less toxic ones and don't spray while bees are active you shouldn't have a problem. Weird as it seems spraying at night is the best time as the bees are all home in bed with the covers tucked up under their litle chins.
I even dug up all the roses that

It may not be a problem with your garden. What kind of bees are found in your area? Is there anywhere that they could live within a couple of miles? Remember that bees will only travel a limited distance to get blossoms.
Can home gardens help bees in some way or has the

Maybe, see above.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
clarissa wrote:

I don't know if you're aware of it but there seems to be a honeybee crisis--exactly what the cause of it might be and how widespread it is seems to be a matter of some debate, with some holding that it's mostly the bees in big commercial operations that get trucked all over Creation and others holding that it's all honeybees, and with various causes claimed, from BT crops to the alignment of the stars.
Bee houses are intended to attract mason bees, not honeybees. Whether they work or not I dunno--you can buy mason bees though, but this isn't the right time of year and they may be hard to find. If you google "Mason Bees" you'll find quite a lot of information about how to attract them and how to use bee houses. If you google "Mason bee sales" you'll find a number of suppliers including some in Canada.
Something to try--set out some unpainted cedar posts--I don't know how it works in Canada but in Florida if there are carpenter bees around they'll dig right into those. If you nail them to a wall under an overhang so they stay dry that seems to make a difference.
If you want a large and stable population and are willing to put some work into it, you could raise honeybees.
Do you mulch heavily? If so that can make it difficult for many kinds of bee to find nesting ground (a lot of them live in holes in the ground and can't dig through a lot of mulch).
Google "bee garden" and you'll find a good deal of advice on what species of plants attract bees.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Clarissa Some things that the bees love in my garden are Bottlebrush, the red kind Western Redbud Viburnum tinus Fruit trees, peach, apricot, almond These are early bloomers. Later they like NE Asters Goldenrod Lavendar Daylilies Salvias
Emilie NorCal zone 9
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here is a list a friend and I built to post on Beemaster.com, a beekeeping forum. Since not all were gardeners, we specified what type of plant they were:
Many on the list are herb, many others are annuals. None of these are at nurseries yet, I'm sure. Wait a month and there will be plenty there! Also, some of them are more common on the west coast than they are around here (east coast).
I'll outline them below:
Annual Flower-Centaurea Blue Boy Bachelors Button -- Bees and hover flies love Annual Herb-Borage officinalis -- Bees love it, cousin to comfrey, not affected by rain because of drooping blue flowers Perennial Herb-Agastache (Anise Hyssop) -- loved by bees Perennial Herb -Comfrey -- Bees love it Annual (??)Flower-Centaurea Dwarf polkdot mix Bachelors Button -- Bees and hoverflies love it Annual Flower -Consolida (larkspur) Consolida ambigua -- attracts beneficials Perennial Herb -Eryngium planum Sea holly -- Bees are mad about this variety Perennial Herb- Thyme T. Vulgaris -- a good honey plant for bees (thymus vulgaris) Perennial Herb - Fireweed -- excellent honey, bees love it (west coast plant) *Annual vine -Canary Creeper T. peregrinum -- bees love it, late late pollen plant (related to nasturtium) Annual Flower - Cosmos -- valuable for late nectar source Annual Flower - Phacelia tanacetifolia (Purple Tansy) -- attracts bee from miles Annual Flower -Poppy giganthemum p. somniferum poppyseed poppy Annual Flower -California poppy "Apricot chiffon"eschscholzia californica -- bees love it Perennial Herb -Catnip Nepeta Cataria -- a good bee plant Perennial Herb -Lemon Balm Melissa officinanlis -- Perennial, bees love it Perennial Herb -Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Perennial, -- bees, hoverflies Perennial Herb -Lovage Levisticum officinale -- bees love it (so do I, it's great in potato salad!) Perennial Herb -Spearmint Mentha spicata blooms late summer, --- bees, hummingbirds *Annual Flower -Helipterum (Acroclinium) helipterum roseum Sensation Giants Mix Yellow rocket *Annual Flower -Impatiens capensis grows wild around my house, great for late nectar/pollen, lasts til frost-kill (Jewelweed, wild just about everywhere there's woodlands and water) Perennial Flower -Great Blue Lobelia L. siphilitica perennial, dappled light, self-sows, flowers summer through autumn Perennial Flower-Salvia Violet Queen S nemorosa -- particularly attractive to butterflies & bees Flowers 2nd year *Annual Flower -Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum outstanding cut flowers, -- annual, bees love it *Annual Flower -Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum -- bees love it, turn under 10 days after flowering to avoid seed drop *Perennial - White Dutch Clover Trifolium repens -- all beneficial insects
* = not likely to find in nursery, however, seeds are available
http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/list.html an excellent listing of bee plants by season, somewhat California oriented but many applicable plants can be found for New England.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.