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How to Plant a Pollinator Garden (And Support Your Local Bees!)

Helping the bees is more important now than ever.

There have been widespread declines in the population of North American bees, and it’s all due to problems with pesticides, disease, change in climate, and loss of habitat.

Creating a pollinator garden can be a great way to help the bees. But, what’s a pollinator garden, anyway?

Keep reading to find out. 

how to support bees in Ohio

How to Support Local Bees

You have more power than you think when it comes to supporting your local bee population. Here’s how.

Support Your Local Beekeepers in Dayton Ohio.

When trying to keep the bees alive, and still having a fear of them as many do, the easiest way to support bees is to buy products that support beekeepers (like local honey!) or donate money to local beekeepers.

Pure raw honey from New Lebanon, Ohio

At Stockslager’s Greenhouse near Dayton, Ohio, we sell pure, raw, Ohio honey from N&P Apiary LLC, from right here in New Lebanon, Ohio! Purchasing products such as these is a great way to support your local beekeepers.

Because it’s their job, they are well-trained and knowledgeable on how to properly care for the bees. Though it may seem like you’re not doing anything for bees by buying products, it actually helps to keep the beekeeper’s business alive and running. 

Become an Inn-keeper… of a Bee Hotel!

Bees need places to live. Usually, you can find a bee in a hole in the ground or in wood. Because of this, many people make what is called a “bee hotel” which is sort of like a birdhouse, but instead covered with cylinders of wood that have been hollowed out. 

This place also provides room for the bees to reproduce, which will help the slow rebuild of the population. 

how to support the local bees

Go Organic with Your Garden

Oftentimes when bees go to pollinate plants, they are met with harmful insecticides. This poisons the bees, and causes them to die off. 

Though insecticides seem to be a good thing for the health of plants, it isn’t the best idea for the nature surrounding it. A different way to go about this is by going organic by planting native plants to the area to attract the correct pests and ward off the bad ones. 

Before buying plants from stores, be sure to ask if they have been treated with insecticides. Some of them do not wash off, but instead soak into the plant and stay inside them forever.

Place Water in Your Garden

Most of the time insects do not drink from large bodies of water, or simply deep water, because they are afraid of falling in and drowning. 

By placing a small dish of water in your yard, you can help the insects to get the liquid they need, without the imminent harm they usually sense. 

Best Pollinator Plants to grow in Ohio

Wondering how you can give the bees and pollinators a garden of their own? It’s all in what you plant.

Goldenrod

These plants flourish from early summer to late fall, and can often withstand very cold nights and hot summer days. 

These plants can really be planted at any time, but they need direct sunlight to germinate, so be sure to place the seeds where they can get the full light. 

These are pretty low maintenance plants that need average watering and well-drained soil to thrive well. 

White and Purple Asters 

Asters prefer cool, misty summers. If the climate is hot where you live, be sure to plant them in the shade so they do not get full, direct sunlight. 

Planting these in mid-to-late spring is the perfect time. Adding mulch after planting is great to provide moisture and more protection from the sun. 

Growing and fertilizing your Asters with compost is a great way to keep them healthy and to ensure that there are no harmful poisons on the perennial that could potentially harm a bee. 

Giant Milkweed

These plants need full sun to partial shade in order to thrive. These plants also grow well in dry and difficult soil, so there is not much that you’ll have to do in order to keep these plants alive and well. 

Not only can these help the bees, but they also are a great spot for caterpillars to pupate, and monarchs to gather around during the spring and summer seasons. 

Birdsfoot Trefoil

This plant needs fertile, well-drained soil. For fertilizer, use organic options, such as compost, to ensure that no bees will be harmed. 

The best time to plant is early spring, but late summer works as well, as long as the temperatures are cooler for the plant. The soil should stay moist at all times, as it will die if it gets too dry. 

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