Eco Tip: Do the Bees a Solid — Let Your Herbs Flower!

Marsha Low, Weavers Way Environment Committee

We all know that bees are in serious trouble — and so are we, since we rely on them to pollinate 35% of global food production. The statistics are grim: Over the past winter, close to 40% of managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. were lost. 

Still, there’s a lot you can do to help bees out if you have a garden. For one thing, plant bee-friendly flowers such as asters and echinacea. Secondly, allow herbs that you grow in your garden to flower, since many species of bees (and other pollinators) love many of the flowers of herbs, including cilantro. If you allow some of yours to grow into two-foot high, shrub-like plants, they develop tiny white and profuse flowers that native bees love. 

Other common herbs that attract bees once they flower are mint, oregano, basil, dill, sage, thyme, rosemary, fennel, and lemon balm. So instead of cutting off the flowers of all your herbs to encourage new growth, consider allowing at least some of the herbs to flower. You’ll be rewarded by seeing and hearing bees of all sizes a-buzz!