Week of July 22

Bee Friendly


Watch this video of Bees on onion and oregano flowers
A cook takes the credit for the delicious food while the bees work behind the scenes, not so quietly though, to bring the food ingredients in existence. Bees are very essential for life on earth as the pollination of plants would decline to a devastating low level without them.

Bee numbers have been decreasing over the last few years. It is thought to be due to more than one reason but the most important one is the use of chemicals on plants. Some of these chemicals affect their neurological system and their sense of direction. As a result the bees are unable to find a way back to their hives and eventually perish.
Keeping home gardens chemical free may seem like a very small portion of US land free of chemicals but every small bit is important.
Grow native plants in your garden to attract bees. A list of native plants of El Paso is provided by the UTEP
http://www.utep.edu/leb/pdf/recplant.pdf
Bees also love herbs including oregano, basil and rosemary all of which are very easy to grow in El Paso.

Water Source for Bees


Who does not need water specially in a hot dry climate. To watch a bird taking a sip or a dip in the birdbath is always a pleasant sight. Seeing a bee take a sip of water is equally pleasurable but a birdbath is like a great lake for the bees. Many bees trying to reach for water drown in the birdbath.
A bee water source could be simply made by a putting some pebbles in a terracotta planter tray. Keep the tray on top of a stand or a planter or it can even be placed on the ground.
The pebbles in the tray provide a safe stepping place for the bees. Keep the bee water tray near the plants bees love to visit. The shallow water evaporates quickly in our dry climate so either keep it under a dripper or keep it at a convenient location where it can be refilled everyday. If there is leftover water in the tray make sure to spill it before refilling as mosquitoes can breed in stagnant water.
Enjoy the sight of bees buzzing around the water tray, it is quite addictive.