The Modern Southern Garden: Three Essential Bees

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The Modern Southern Garden

The Profile

Three Essential Bees

The modern garden is one that thrives with minimal effort once established. If you choose the right plants & orchestrate their bloom time just so, it should put on a continuous show of lovely color & texture from spring to fall. Aside from pulling a few stray weeds, watering & applying a bit of fertilizer every so often, an hour or two each week is all that is needed to keep it looking its’ best. Garden insects will naturally visit whether they be friend or foe & many will claim your outdoor space as their home. It’s important to assess the types of regular visitors in order to keep foliage looking lush & buds growing in perfect time. Once flowers open, you may notice a flurry of activity ranging from unwanted wasps, flies & mosquitos to invited guests such as butterflies, moths & bees. Today’s tutorial takes a look into the vital role bees play in the ecosystem of your garden. They have long been praised as crucial pollinators & welcome visitors. Learn how to identify some of these savvy insects when they do drop in.

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{helpful advice}

How To Attract Bees Into The Garden

From spring to fall, it isn’t uncommon to see a flutter of activity near gardens filled with flowers. Bees 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 about several types of bees & their characteristics so that you may identify them in your own green space.


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No. 1

The Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees are fast flying, solitary bees that may be identified by their smooth, black abdomen & head with a fuzzy yellow thorax measuring approximately 1-inch in length. Their legs are furry as well. Although females have the capability to sting, they generally do not & males are not capable of doing so at all. Carpenter bees have long been considered unwelcome visitors as they can be destructive to wood decks, siding & other home structures which is where they choose to carve out their nests. However, carpenter bees are good pollinators which is why I’m giving them the green thumb up. 

No. 2

The Bumblebee

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. Unlike carpenter bees, 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. 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.

No. 3

The Honey Bee

There are many types of honeybees with the Western Honey Bee standing out as one of the most common. They are a social bee & build their perennial nests from wax which is in turn used to store the honey that is produced by the vast colonies that return to swarm in the same location year after year. The Western Honey Bee may be identified by soft gold & black bands around the body with a fuzzy thorax & head. Within each hive, honeybees are classified as either a worker, drone or the queen. The honeybee alone sustains many industries ranging from candle making & lip balm to the honey produced for food consumption. 

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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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