How to Help Save Bees and Keep Ambrosia Apples Growing
If you love Ambrosia apples, thank a bee. We owe everything to these little miracles of nature. In fact, watch our video of how Ambrosia apples came to be to understand the important part that bees play in our orchards.
There’s another reason to be thankful for bees. Some farmers will rent bees at blossom time to ensure that the blooms are pollinated. These are the kind of bee you’re probably thinking of – honey bees. But the hired bees are not working alone!
British Columbia is home to 450 types of native bees and they’re more important than ever. In recent years, bee experts have noted a decline in honey bee populations. There’s lots of speculation as to why this is happening (and many people are focused on the solution to this problem), but with fewer honey bees, we need to keep all of the different bee populations healthy in order to ensure we continue to have lots of beautiful Ambrosia apples to eat each year.
Orchardists may encourage wild flowers to grow in between their rows to attract more wild bees. You can help too. Next spring, put more flowers in your garden or yard. Talk about an easy (and beautiful) way to help the planet!
The folks at Bee Friendly suggest planting ‘native plants for native bees’. This ensures you don’t create a new problem (with invasive, non-native plants) when you’re trying to help out!
Don’t just focus on spring blooms. Bees need flowers (and pollen) all year round to ensure they stay healthy and able to repopulate. Bees like a little variety – so mix it up in the garden. They’re especially fond of blue, purple, violet, yellow and white blossoms! If you really want to create a bee friendly yard, check out these tips from David Suzuki’s Queen of Green on how to make a Bee bath and a Bee house!
As the bees prepare to chill out for the winter (and eat all of that honey they made), we can start planning to make a better world for them. That might be hungry work, so make sure you have an Ambrosia apple on hand while planning. It’ll help you remember why you care so much about the bees.
Learn more about bees and blossom-time in this video filmed in one of our Ambrosia apple orchards during Spring.