Bee-friendly gardening

Spring arrived early this year in Portland! It’s time to plant your garden. I wanted to share some resources for bee-friendly planting.

First off – ask me for some free seeds! I’ve got borage (photo above), echinacea, phacelia, and milkweed to give out.

Bees eat pollen and drink nectar, but some people don’t realize that not all flowers provide for their needs. Here’s a story about a local Portland gardener, along with a list of great bee flowers.

Here’s another article with more tips.

To help the bees, we also need to keep a very close eye on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. Many plant suppliers treat plants in a systemic way that causes them to produce more toxins over time. It is expressed in the plant’s body, petals, fruit, and pollen. This is very commonly found at big box hardware or one-stop stores. Please ask before you buy plants if they are safe. More info.

For some good news on the pesticide front, the city of Portland just announced that neonicotinoids will no longer be used on city property.