Sunday, January 18, 2015

Plant for the Pollinators and Increase your Crop Yields

PURPLE CONEFLOWER


What's the Big Deal about BEES?

Have you heard about CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder? "Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Colony collapse is significant because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees."
English Lavender
One possible theory...

Honeybee Deaths Linked to Corn Insecticide:
What was killing all those honeybees in recent years?  New research shows a link between an increase in the death of bees and insecticides, specifically the chemicals used to coat corn seeds.

The study, titled "Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particulate Matter Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds," was published in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology journal, and provides insight into colony collapse disorder.
Colony collapse disorder, or the mass die-off of honeybees, has stumped researchers up to now. This new research may provide information that  could lead to even more answers.

According to the new study, neonicotinoid insecticides "are among the most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralyzing nerves but have lower toxicity for other animals."   Source



FREE Seeds for the BEES and BUTTERFLIES!
A few months ago, someone on our facebook page commented on our post about MILKWEED.
They said, "Monarch Butterflies are about the be placed on the Endangered Species list (thanks Monsanto!).
If we all bought at least one package of these with every order maybe we could help."
MILKWEED
What an AWESOME idea!!! 
Mary's Heirloom Seeds wants to help save the BEES and the BUTTERFLIES! 
From NOW thru July 15th, ALL orders will include a FREE PACK of BUTTERFLY GARDEN Seeds!
Just leave a comment with your order!  
**Minimum $10 Order with free shipping on heirloom seeds within the 50 United States and US Territories**


What to Plant and WHY?

The simplest way to increase crop yields is to encourage pollinators to your garden.  It's simple to do, easy to grow and eco-friendly.

BASIL and BORAGE produce flowers and are both companion plants for Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash and Eggplant.

Marigold is another companion plant AND it deters nematodes!

MILKWEED is the perfect addition if you're looking to attract Bees and Butterflies.

HERBS: Lavender, Lemon Bee Balm, Anise Hyssop, Caraway, Chives, Chamomile and Yarrow are all Flowering Herbs and what I call "Double Duty Herbs."  These "double duty" varieties encourage pollinators to your garden AND are useful in herbal home remedies as well as home-cooking recipes.   

SUNFLOWERS are an excellent addition to your garden for the bees and other pollinators.  For multiple flowers, try Mexican Sunflower!
MEXICAN SUNFLOWER
Nasturtium is another edible flower that attracts pollinators.  Pretty flowers with a delicious flavor!  As a companion plant, Nasturtium deters Squash Vine Borers!
NASTURTIUMS
For a basic list of Crops and Companion Plants, read our latest COMPANION PLANTING

We found a helpful article: 
"The critical importance of pollinators is exemplified in a recent study out of the University of California, Berkeley. Not only do pollinators help increase crop yields, they may be even more important than fertilizers, according to the study suggests."

"Scientists concluded that an almond tree can compensate for the lack of nutrients and water in the short term by storing the nutrients and water in the fruits instead, but cannot compensate for insufficient pollination"  



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1 comment:

Abi Craig said...

We love planting things that will encourage bees and butterflies to hang around. Thanks for sharing the information. Found at Real Food Friday.