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Dec 9, 2008

Online courses, beekeeper associations, videos, books, beehouses, and tips to become a beekeeper or just make your garden bee friendly!

Tips for Attracting Bees!

Good News!

Beelogics To Save Honeybees With New Anti-Viral Medicine--Have a Colony To Share?

Organic Beekeepers Report No Losses While Conventional Operations Report Massive Colony Losses



The Bee Lab offers an Online Public Course: Healthy Bees

Organic Beekeeping Society - Classes

Indiana Residents

Getting Started

Some of these references are not 100% organic. If you are going to help save bees, go organic with all of your supplements, avoid all pesticides and genetically modified crops.

Hive Mind: Beekeepers Reference --FANTASTIC PORTAL!

eBook: How To Start Beekeeping you'll need to know to start BeeKeeping!


Bee Briefs:

Urban Bee Garden

Creating a Wild Backyard--Bees

Backyard BeeKeeping

Bee shelters and condos



Attract Native Honey Bees to your Garden!

2008 Organic Beekeeping Conference Recordings


Beekeeping For Dummies

Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture

Beekeeper Associations

American Beekeeping Federation

International Bee Research Association (IBRA)

International Federation of Beekeepers' Association (APIMONDIA)

Join the Pollinator Action Team, Help Bees and Other Pollinators!


  • 100% organic hives The plants should not be gentically modified.The bees should not be given any supplements containing GMO ingredients such as corn deriviates.
  • No pesticides in the garden. Some pesticides can kill the bee before it returns to the hive; other pesticides get carried back and can harm the rest of the hive.
  • Use sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. By letting the bees build natural sized cells some beekeepers have virtually eliminated Varroa and Tracheal mite problems.
  • Foot Baths at the main entrances to hives.
  • Bee gardens should combine fruit, flowers and vegetables.
  • Bees are drawn to gardens with ten or more species of attractive plants.
  • Diversify gardens, keep part of it wild because bees prefer that to a manicured space. Go for a “lanted by nature” effect rather than a perfectly pruned garden. Remember: bees don’t discriminate between weeds and cultivated flowers, so let those dandelions grow.
  • Plant flowers that bloom successively over the spring, summer, and fall seasons such as coreopsis, Russian sage, or germander in order to provide pollen and nectar resources to the native bees of all seasons. With global warming plants blooming at different times of the year, and that's why the nectar flows are so much earlier now. We must take this into consideration and plan for it.
  • Flower nectar-- plant and encourage the planting of good nectar sources such as red clover, foxglove, bee balm, and joe-pye weed.
  • Certain kinds of flowers, including white clover and wild mustard, produce nectar that is particularly rich in protein and other nutrients that are useful to the well-being of insects, according to the research.

Artificial shelters like bee condominiums and bat houses could encourage them to stay.

Examples of bee condos...

Pollen- and nectar-rich flowering plants like butterfly weeds (Asciepias tuberosa), black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia species), coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), milkweeds (Asciepias species), phlox (Phlox paniculata, Carolina), Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), sedum and sunflowers (Helianthus species) appeal most to bees and butterflies, said James Dill, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Hummingbirds prefer cardinal flowers (red Lobelia), columbines (especially the red Aquilegia species) and trumpet vines (Campsis).
Red, trumpet-shaped flowers are the most popular thing you can put in your yard to attract pollinators, Dill said. “Even though they’re small, phlox have a nice supply of nectar. They also have shallow trumpets and even small insects can reach into those.”

Some other plant-centered suggestions for attracting pollinators:
  • Succession planting. Food plants should be available from early spring well into autumn.flowering plants for butterflies during mid- to late season, when butterflies are most prevalent,” Dill said. Bees need nectar and pollen to survive.
  • Provide water. A dripping faucet, birdbath or mud puddle attracts bees and butterflies. Change the water frequently to discourage mosquito breeding and to avoid chemical contamination. Bee Waterer: During dry hot weather the bees need water to cool the hive. If you want them out of the bird bath, build a bee waterer. Place a tray of gravel on the ground out of the wind. Almost fill the tray to the top of the gravel. The gravel provides many more landing places for the bees. They should use the bird bath much less.
    • Plant native perennials. These hardy flowers provide many colorful returns and produce large nectar supplies.
    • Sunny sites. Bees are more active when warm, and most flower varieties require several hours or more of sun per day to produce nectar and pollen.
    • Add food plants for the juveniles. “Think of the life cycles of the insects you’re trying to attract,” Dill said. “Figure out their food sources.”
    • Herbicides and insecticides, which are especially harmful to bees and butterflies. Choose non-chemical solutions for insect problems. “One of the things we tell our farmers is be careful when spraying,” Dill said. “If you’re an apple grower, look and see what’s underneath the tree. Be mindful about time of day, wind conditions, bee activity and whatever else is around.”
    • Many “horticultural plants” such as marigolds, mums and roses bred as doubles contain little or no pollen. Their many petals make it impossible for bees and other pollinators to gather nectar, entomologists say. Select single petal flowers like strawberries, cranesbill (geraniums) and daisies that provide easier access.
    • Cleaning up. The casual look is in if you want pollinators to take up housekeeping on your property. Bees often nest in undisturbed shrubs or grass.
    “Condition yourself to the beauty of natural areas,” said Laurie Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership, a San Francisco-based nonprofit group that promotes pollination and biodiversity. “Put up a sign that says 'pollinator garden’ if it looks a little unkempt. Ground nesting bees need some debris nearby.”
    Learn all you can about plants native to your area and observe which beneficial insects are visiting the garden, Adams said.
    “Diversify with flowering plants known to attract particular pollinators,” she said. “That reduces the pesticide load, creates something attractive that will last for years and benefits the environment.”

    A British beekeeper gave the following tips to members of the general public eager to help save bee colonies.
    1. Buy locally produced honey. By doing so you are helping to support the pollination and plant life in the area in which you live.

    2. Allow weeds to grow in your garden. Well-manicured lawns are wastelands for bees.

    3. Buy locally produced food. Small producers plant a variety of things which present bees with food.

    4. Do not buy foreign honey. It may be contaminated, and the contamination could spread to local bees who are accomplished honey thieves.

    5. Do not spray flowering plants with pesticides.

    6. If you find a swarm of bees in your garden or on your property, immediately call in a bee expert. These honeybees are survivors and there is a desperate need for their genetics.

    Visibility: Everyone
    Posted: Tuesday December 9, 2008, 7:50 pm
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