Let’s take a moment to thank our hardworking honeybees (Apis mellifera) and their dedication to pollinating our flowers!
Bees are often considered the most important pollinators, with honeybees accounting for 84% of all insect pollination. These flying golden beauties are particularly good pollinators due to pollen-collecting structures on their bodies: the scopa (or pollen basket) which holds pollen balls on their hind legs; the corbicula, a fuzzy mat of hair that gathers pollen when traveling from flower to flower; and the crop (or honey stomach) which holds nectar as they travel from flower to flower.
Bee species also display floral constancy, staying within the same type of flower to collect pollen. This is important in orchards, where many farmers rely on bees to pollinate their fruit trees and vegetables’ flowers.
If you are looking to promote our favorite pollinators, consider the most attractive flower traits in the eyes of a honeybee. Of all colors, honeybees can see shades of yellows and violets the best, making yellow and blue-purple flowers a great addition to any pollinator garden. Like us, honeybees enjoy fresh, mild, and pleasant floral aromas, and flowers with plenty of nectar. Purple bee balm, coneflower, and New England asters are common honeybee favorites.
Pollinator decline is a major concern for all species of insects, bats, and birds which pollinate our flowers. The causes of Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees is a combination of pests and pathogens introduced to the hive, poor nutrition, pesticide use, and habitat fragmentation. The best way that homeowners and businesses can help honeybee populations is to plant more flowers and reduce pesticide use on your property.
Luckily, the Vande Hey Company has plenty of perennials, annuals, and even flowering trees that your local honeybees will adore!