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In the Garden: Honey Bees

honeybeesEUGENE, Ore. — It’s August, and this month we celebrate honey bees. August 16th is National Honey Bee Day.

It’s a great time to remember to issues honey bees face. Obviously, the news of misused pesticides is one, but there are also other challenges that they face. There are viruses and diseases that are being spread through different mites that invest the hives. And there’s monoculture, which is kind of what we’ve done with our agriculture system, having big blocks of one type of plant.

Bees need lots of different food sources, and we’ve taken some of their habitat with our buildings, roads and cities. But we can help them in our own backyard. Plant fruits, vegetables and different types of flowers to give the honey bees a variety of food sources throughout the city.

Also provide a water source. Water features, bird baths, fountains are great for bees, especially in August and the hotter months when they are looking for sources of water.

Lastly, take the time to really understand any of the pesticides that you’re spraying, whether they’re organic or not. There can be inherent dangers if used incorrectly, so really take the time to know what you’re using in your yard before you apply anything.

If you want to learn more about attracting honey bees to your garden, there’s a workshop at Johnson Brothers Greenhouses on Saturday, Aug. 16. The “Pollinator Container Make-and-Take” starts at 1 p.m. Admission is $30. Click here to register.

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