Keep an eye out for a queen bee in the spring!,
Do not remove honeybee hives from your yard.,
Maintain bee foraging areas in your yard.,
Eliminate weeds by mowing or tilling the soil.
If you find a large honeybee on the ground during the spring, when the weather is just starting to have warmer days, it may be a queen honeybee! If she stopped hibernating too early, she may have gotten caught by colder weather than she expected. Feel free to bring her inside to warm her up and feed her. However, you should plan to release her in a day or so – her nest’s survival likely depends on her return.It is usually only the queen honeybee that survives the winter. She carries the responsibility of establishing a new colony the following year.
, Unless someone you live with is allergic to bee stings, or the hive is dangerously close to somewhere you need to go frequently, let it be. The hive will only be there for one season, and it’s value as a pollinator is increasingly significant in the context of declining bee populations. In fact, most individual honeybees only live for a few weeks., More directly, choose plants for your garden that bees love. Large scale agriculture has increased honeybees’ dependence on cultivated crops, so providing uncultivated foraging areas is increasingly important. In particular, plant sweet clover, Dutch clover, alfalfa, purple vetch, birdsfoot trefoil, and partridge pea on your land.Allow trees and bushes such as linden, black locust, honey locust, Russian olive, wild plums, elderberries, red maples, willows, and honeysuckle to blossom as well.
Contact your local natural resource management office for information about what you can plant to help the honeybees in your area.
, While you may need to apply an herbicide or pesticide to target another type of pest, mowing or tilling the weeds the weeds in your yard first will decrease the likelihood that you end up killing bees when you apply a pesticide. This is especially important if the weeds are blooming.In particular, mow fields with lots of milkweed, smartweed, and dandelion before applying any chemicals. Otherwise, these plants will likely be covered in bees!