By Karen Brown
I have had many jobs in my life. From being the Executive Director of an assisted living facility, to being the Creative Director of Blue Haven Bee Company, but gardening and plants have always been on the forefront of my interests. Gardening has been my passion for many years. There is something about the tranquility of “playing in the dirt,” watching plants grow to their full potential, and helping our pollinators prosper. Being outside is just good for the soul.
Along with learning about plants, pollination always fascinated me. Even before Blue Haven Bee Company, we maintained a few hives of bees on our property to help with pollination. Honeybees are responsible for the production of over $19 billion in food crops each year in the United States alone. Bats, birds, ants, beetles, flies, butterflies, moths, wasps, and even small mammals are other pollinators that are important to plant reproduction, and in turn, our survival. My newest project is planning and developing a pollinator friendly habitat and garden at Blue Haven’s facility in Canon, Georgia.
You can be part of a nationwide effort to restore pollinator friendly habitats and healthy eco systems in your own yard, gardens, and neighborhoods. Here is how:
Plant more pollinator food sources. Use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Avoid modern hybrid flowers, especially those with double flowers. Help pollinators find and use them by planting in dumps, rather than single plants. Include plants native to your regions. Natives are adapted to your local climate, soil, and native pollinators. Do not forget that night-blooming flowers will support moths and bats.
Provide water. A small birdbath or a dripping hose are great ways to introduce water into your garden. Both butterflies and honeybees love a damp area of bare soil. Mix in a bit of sea salt or wood ash to create the perfect watering place for these pollinators.
Give shelter. Keep an area of the garden wild. Do not mow this area. Leave a dead tree or at least an occasional dead limb, this will provide essential nesting sites for native bees.
Skip pesticides. If you must use a pesticide, use the least-toxic material possible. Read labels carefully before purchasing, as many pesticides are especially dangerous for bees. Use the product properly. Spray at night when bees and most other pollinators are not active.
Educate your friends and neighbors.
Let’s “bee” proactive in helping save our planet by planting pollinator plants in the comfort of your home. Blue Haven Bee Company is not only a divine honey and natural body care company; we take pride in educating our youth and customers on the importance of learning about how to save our bee population. As our new bee garden grows, take a moment and come see us! Our location may be off the beaten path, but we will brighten your day and educate you on our passion… honeybees and all things natural. We are open Tuesday through Friday, 10a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturdays 10a.m. to 3p.m. at 2069 Bond Ave. Canon Georgia. Can’t make it? Shop online and support our growing efforts to help #savethebees. You can shop online for fast shipping and great deals at www.bluehavenbee.com
Karen Brown is currently the Creative Director and Partner at Blue Haven Bee Company. She earned a BA in Art and a BS in Psychology from Piedmont College. She has enjoyed careers in both healthcare and interior design before beginning her journey at Blue Haven. In her spare time Karen enjoys gardening, design, world travel, and working with special needs to make the community a better place.