What to plant and what not to spray to keep bees healthy and happy

If you care about bees … well, let’s do the truth: if you care eat Two new studies (because bees pollinate the plants that produce our food) are two simple things that home gardeners in and around Los Angeles can do to help their busy buzzers live longer and live healthier lives. I emphasize that.

1. Plant sunflowers, wild roses, mint, buckwheat, citrus fruits and other flowers that extend the immunity and longevity of bees in the garden or balcony.


2. Stop, just Stop, Use “neonicotinoid” pesticides on your plants.

Many gardeners have received notes that pesticides hurt bees. But new research emphasizes how devastating this common pesticide is to honeybees, even in small amounts.

“Neonicotinoid” is an abbreviation for neonicotinoid, said Jake Sekara, a PhD at the University of California, Riverside, who made a new discovery. Neonicotinoids are pesticides designed to kill a wide range of chewing and trematode insects, from aphid-like sap suckers to leaf-eating beetles.

The problem is that Neonics are very good at their work and they wipe out all Insects have moved to the University of California, Davis for weeks, months, and sometimes up to a year, depending on dose and plant, and continue their research, Sekara said. In addition, most neonicotinoids are designed to be systemic. That is, it is absorbed throughout the plant, from roots and leaves to flowers and pollen bees. Also, non-organic wholesalers often use it to keep young plants bug-free before going to retail nurseries.

“In essence, neonicotinoids turn the whole plant into a pesticide,” he said.

Cecala’s PhD study investigated whether low-dose doses of neonicotinoids were lethal to honeybees. And to my surprise, he used 5 milligrams per gallon-sized plant (less than one-third of the recommended dose of 17 milligrams), killing most of the research group’s alfalfa bees and 90 few reproductions. I found that I reduced it by%. Survivor.

Also, diluting the pesticide with a large amount of water did not reduce its toxicity, Sekara said.

“Even if diluted, the amount is [of pesticide] It was so expensive that it still had a devastating blow to the bees, “he said. “There are neem and various types of alternative pesticides [insecticidal] Soap that people can use.

Alfalfa bees are lonely bees that are widely used to pollinate alfalfa. Some bees are more resistant to pesticides than others, but are still deadly to all species, from domesticated urticaria bees to native lone bees that nest in small holes in the ground. It is a target.

In fact, the result is more devastating for the future of lonely bees, he said. Because they live such a lonely life. When some bees are killed by pesticides, the hive becomes weaker but can survive. But in a lonely native bee, when a person dies, “the whole lineage is wiped out,” he said.

A troublesome problem for home gardeners is the fact that many products do not use the word “neonicotinoid” on their labels, Cecala said. Instead, pesticides are listed by other tongue twister names such as imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and acetamiprid.To help consumers survive the turmoil, the Food Safety Center has a long list of products containing neonicotinoids. beyondpesticides.org It helps to see if the pesticides that gardeners use to kill rose aphids are scraping off bees. (For his study, Cecala said he used Marathon 1% Granular.)

Also, if the gardener is worried about buying plants that are contaminated with neonicotinoids, Cecala recommends that the gardener consult the nursery about the pesticides used by the supplier. He said that the nurseries of many native plants in particular are aware of the problems surrounding neonicotinoids.

There is controversy about using pesticides to increase agricultural productivity, but research entomologist Arathi Seshadri of Davis’ USDA Agricultural Research Service Agency says using pesticides in the vegetable garden when they are deadly to pests. Says it’s difficult to justify.

“If you don’t want to put chemicals in your house, you don’t want to put chemicals in your garden,” Seshadori said.

Seshadori said in a recently completed study she had more horrifying evidence about neonicotinoids. About natural flower compounds that are beneficial to bees. According to her research, when neonicotinoids mix with natural flower compounds, pesticides appear to be more toxic.

Ironically, without the addition of pesticides, Seshadri’s study in another study found that four of these naturally occurring compounds actually helped improve bee health, especially gut microbiota. Nosema ceranae, A common pathogen that can cause diarrhea in honeybees and eventually kill the entire weakened colony.

“Bees and human gut microbiota are important for our immune response and longevity,” she said. “So if you want to help bees, you should plant these flowers in your garden, because having these kinds of flowers can actually provide bees with a way to fortify gut microbiota and fight disease. Because. ”

The four naturally occurring compounds that provide these types of “bee” vitamins are:

Gallic acid: Included in mint, raspberries, apples and sunflowers.

Kaempferol: Included in petunias, asters, canolas (also known as mustard seeds) and poppies

P-Coumaric acid: Included in buckwheat, wild roses and clover.

caffeine: Perhaps the only compound that helps improve bee gut health, according to Seshadori, is found in citrus pollen and, of course, coffee plants. (Seshadori warned that people shouldn’t try to give coffee to bees, thinking that extra caffeine would make them healthy. For example, caffeine in lemon flower pollen. The amount is small compared to the amount contained in a cup of coffee or coffee. Why is it toxic to bees?)

She said it’s best to plant as many flowers as possible and feed the bees as much as they like, at the doses provided by Mother Nature.

And some important notes about which flowers to plant:

— Choose these flower varieties that actually contain pollen. This is because some varieties are grown for their appearance, not for their bee feed. For example, double petunias are clean, but they don’t attract bees because they don’t have pollen. The same is true for many new rose varieties. If in doubt, stab your finger in the center of the flower and swing it around … If it is golden, there is pollen. Otherwise, the bees are not interested.

— Canola, or mustard seeds, can grow wild as weeds, but it’s a good plant to grow around the edges of other crops to attract bees, she said.

And don’t be afraid to mix the clover into the lawn. “Although technically classified as a noxious weed, beekeepers know that clover is actually very beneficial to bees and can also help improve the lawn,” she said.

Remember the rules: there are no neonicotinoids on the grass!