A bumblebee is a happy sight in a garden, but it’s also a sign of productivity as bumblebees are the natural pollinators of many garden plants.
Photo/Illustration: Ken Druse
My garden would be a poorer place without the buzz of bumblebees busily working the blossoms. Is it the bumblebee’s lack of grandeur or its ubiquitous presence that makes gardeners neglect this tireless laborer? Whatever the reason, these fat, fuzzy buzzers deserve to be nurtured and cheered for their faithful work on the gardener’s behalf. And with the honeybee population being mysteriously decimated, other pollinators like bumblebees provide an underappreciated service we can no longer take for granted.
I welcome bumblebees to my garden by planting the flowers that I know they like to feed on. To provide a steady food source for bumblebees in my garden, I provide blooms during their active period from March to October, stretching their food supply throughout the growing seasons. In addition, I eschew insecticides because bumblebees are sensitive to all of them. In fact, I rarely use anything stronger than insecticidal soap to combat pests, preferring to forgo any plant I can’t grow without chemicals.