bee friendly

Last week, I spent the evenings tending the urban homestead. My biggest project was planning, tilling, and planting my bee-friendly garden, a small circular flower bed in the front yard, facing west.
Here's a shot of me happily planting away. The garden may not 100% include things honeybees love, but it should attract various bees, as well as hummingbirds and butterflies. In the center of the bed is an old tree trunk that I hollowed out and threw a handful of oyster and muscle shells in. I've discovered it makes an excellent watering hole for the bees, so I've abandoned my plans to plant anything into it for now. Here's what I planted around it: asters, tangerine marigolds (my own starts), other marigolds, butterfly weed (my own starts), alyssum (from seed), cosmos (from seed), sunflowers (from seed), nasturtiums (from seed), Trollius chinensis or golden queen, lupine, foxgloves (my starts), hollyhocks (my starts), thyme, and pincushion flowers (my starts). It doesn't look like much yet...
I also managed to decorate Brian's mixer lid (formerly it just had a picture of an inflatable mattress and some clear red tape on it). I took a bunch of stickers and postcards and whatnot that I'd collected and collaged them while watching "Bee Movie" last week.
The bees are doing really well. Their population is up, and the comb is increasing. They went through a quiet phase, neglecting housekeeping and not increasing their comb. For one, it was rather chilly out, and for another, their population was probably quite low, as it had been a month since I'd introduced them to the hive. But they now seem to be thriving and working hard.
The comfrey is about 5 feet tall. Tall enough that some of it is starting to topple over. The good news is that the chickens love it, as do the bumblebees. They're all over it.
I have a love-hate relationship with comfrey. It's so invasive: in fact, I need to go out and weed some of it from my vegetable beds, but if the bumblebees love it, so do I. It's also great for making compost tea; the leaves are loaded with nitrogen. Plus, I did see a few honeybees on it yesterday. And it's quite gorgeous until it topples over.

1 comment:

  1. i love that you're wearing the bee necklace! hehe. your garden looks fabulous! how are the tomatoes doing?