Not everyone may be suited to be a backyard beekeeper, but you can still do your part to help the bee population.
Populate your yard with native plants like phlox, milkweed, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susans and varieties of coreopsis, and you’ll be providing plants that help feed and keep pollinators healthy, said Lori Jones, whose job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office at the Great Plains Nature Center includes educating people about pollinators. Certain shrubs and trees, such as redbud, plum and chokecherry varieties, also attract pollinators.
“Pollinators are the animals that move pollen from one flower to another to help with seed and fruit production,” Jones said. She called bees “the workhorse of pollinators,” but butterflies, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, bats and others are also considered pollinators.
If you’re trying to nurture a pollinator garden, don’t use pesticides and other chemicals that can harm pollinators, she said. To avoid any unwanted attention of bees, flies and other pollinators, place your garden in an area of your yard that you don’t frequent much, she advised.
To find out more about native plants, Jones suggested visiting www.pollinator.org and www.dyckarboretum.org. The latter is the website of Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, a reputable resource on native plants.