The Modern Southern Garden: Bumblebees


The Modern Southern Garden

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One of the most recognizable bees is probably the bumblebee. It may be identified by a fuzzy head, abdomen & thorax. Some types have yellow on the head & the face while others sport the notable contrasting yellow & black bands throughout. Bumblebees measure approximately 1 to 1 1/2-inches long & prefer to build nests in compost or wood piles & abandoned vermin holes. Bumblebees are social insects with a queen as the focus of each colony. Bumblebees are excellent pollinators as the vibration of their wings alone allow pollen to release from flowers such as Goldenrod. They also have a pollen basket on their legs capable of holding large quantities at a time. Female bumblebees can sting but usually do not unless their nest is threatened. It should be noted that male bees across all species do not have stingers.

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{helpful advice}

How To Attract Bumblebees Into The Garden

From spring to fall, it isn’t uncommon to see a flutter of activity near gardens filled with flowers. Bumblebees are important in maintaining a healthy garden & there are many types that you may see buzzing about. Blooming flowers have long been the major attractor for their visit & you may even notice that they are partial to certain flowers. Learn how this particular type of insect & their characteristics so that you may identify them in your own green space. 


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In the fall when the tall, stately wildflower Solidago blooms freely along roadsides, you may notice the bees buzzing about. Bumblebees have a relatively short lifespan of approximately 28 days. They are largely known to be excellent pollinators however it should be noted that they do not produce a whole lot of honey. There are over 250 species of this interesting insect & with such a large body, it’s quite amazing their small wings are able to work tirelessly to flap quickly & often in order to hold itself up & do the job it’s meant to do. Bumblebees create colonies comprised of anywhere from 50 to 500 bees that may be located close to ground level. They prefer spaces such as compost & wood piles. Their diet consists of pollen & nectar that when mixed with their own saliva, it produces honey. The honey is largely passed along to the queen bee to aide in the nourishment of her offspring. The life cycle is interesting in that the queen bees & the drones needed for the following spring are born late season & into the fall months. 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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