Ten Reasons You Should Grow a Bee Garden:
by Lori Weidenhammer aka Madame Beespeaker
Whether you call it an insectory, a pollinator garden, or a bee garden, plants rich in nectar, pollen, and essential oils will sustain a healthy pollinator population that will benefit your household and the community you belong to.
1) Human survival depends on plant survival which depends on insect survival. Biodiversity of plant base and insect supports a healthy ecosystem. As humans on this planet, we have the responsibility to be informed and responsible stewards of the plants that sustain us. Plants keep our planet breathing. Plants feed us. Plants heal us. Bee gardens give our children a future.
2) Urban sprawl is eating up blossom space, and must be countered by a movement to create blossom density. Our cities need radical gardeners and bee advocates who make sure that space is left for pollinator habitat in cities and towns. Bee gardens are political.
3) The movement towards growing and eating locally depends on bees and other pollinators for its success. Bee gardens preserve food security.
4) Including native pollinator plants in your garden helps preserve biodiversity and keeps the knowledge of working with what grows best in your climate. Bee gardens create and preserve a literacy of local knowledge and local ethnobotanical traditions.
5) Industrial agriculture is creating an environment that is hostile and even toxic to pollinators, threatening the future of our planet. In growing organic bee gardens, insectaries, and pollinator corridors, the health of our planet rests on our organic farmers and gardeners. Bee gardens are an essential part of sustainable agricultural practise.
6) Meliferous plants come from a long cultural tradition and heritage of the relationship between humans and honeybees. Many of us have a lineage of beekeepers in our family traditions which can be passed down from generation to generation, deepening the tradition and culture of organic beekeeping. Bee gardens are a rich part of our cultural heritage.
7) The culture of bee gardening could in itself be a huge growth industry, with nurseries carrying and identifying bee plants and gardeners gaining employment replacing lawns with pollinator plants and creating biodiverse hedgerows and pollinator borders. Bee gardens are a viable economic industry.
8) Waterwise perennial bee gardens potentially use less inputs than lawn and vanity gardens--including weeding, watering, and fertilizing. Bee gardens are an integral part permaculture.
9) Bee gardens can provide a healing oasis and sensuous retreat for the benefits of health for humans and animals. Insectaries stimulate our senses and inspire the poet, artist, and spiritualist inside us all. Bee gardens are good for the soul.
10) Bee gardens give everyone a chance to observe bees and learn about their behavior. Scientists can study the relationship of bees to plants to help optimize the choices we make when we plant our life-sustaining bee gardens. Bee watching could become a popular hobby, much in the same way that bird watching has become a lucrative industry. Bee watching could create an interest and passion in a child that leads them to a career choice: entomology, horticulture, chemistry, psychology, agriculture, ecology, etc. Bee gardens engage, educate and enlighten.