As you probably know, bee and butterfly populations are in serious decline. This is not good news! Did you know that in 1997 there were more than 1 billion Monarch butterflies, but now there are only about 57 million? The rapid decline is due to pesticides, loss of habitat and milkweed, which is the main diet of caterpillars.
Bees are dying in record numbers—putting our food supply seriously at risk—and it’s mostly due to toxic pesticides called “neonicotinoids.” These nasty chemicals are used in nursery plants and they’re systemic, which means that the poison goes up through the plant into the pollen and nectar and kills the bees. PLEASE, only buy plants that aren’t chemically treated!
Make your yard an area where bees and butterflies can survive. Plant wildflowers native to your state, plant milkweed and don’t use chemicals!
Some bee-friendly flowers…
Spring Blooms – Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula and wild lilac
Summer – bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta
Fall – zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod
Some butterfly-friendly flowers…
Aster, bee balm, cornflower, daylily, hollyhock, lavender, lilac, milkweed, phlox, purple coneflower, snapdragon, zinnia
Ten top flowers for hummingbirds…
Bee balm, cardinal flower, zinnia, salvia, bleeding hearts, butterfly bush, trumpet flower, lupine, columbine, petunia
All of the pictures in this post are from my own backyard. If you’d like more information on how you can do your part to help save the bees and butterflies by creating a friendly habitat for them, here are a few very good resources:
American Meadows for wildflower seeds
The Xerxes Society for information on bees, butterflies and dragonflies
The Honeybee Conservancy for information on planting a bee-friendly garden
Denise Devine is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes sweet romantic comedy and inspirational romance. She is currently writing two series, Forever Yours (Inspirational) and Counting Your Blessings (Christmas romantic comedy). You can visit her at www.deniseannettedevine.com.