Leave the Bees alone!
Bees are such a common sight here at Viola Nursery that I seldom notice them. With all the different plants here, there is always something in bloom. With blooms, naturally come bees looking for pollen and nectar. For to many people, the first instinct is to either swat at or jump away from the bee. Unless the bee is angry at you for something you did to threaten it, bees are not naturally aggressive to humans. Generally the bee is focused on gathering pollen and nectar for itself.
Sure as a child I had been stung by a bee, on more than one occasion. But as I think back on it now, I was probably messing around with a hive or something. So I also had a slight fear of bee stings growing up. I have since come to look at them very differently. I am constantly working right along side of the bees and have never been stung here at the nursery.
As you have probably heard, there has been a sharp decline in the bee population. Although they have a number of theories for this, scientist have not come up with a solid conclusion. One of the most reported theories for the decline is the use of Neonicotinoids. This family of chemicals include many of the most commonly used insecticides in the ornamental plant growing industry. Because these insecticides do such a great job in controlling a wide variety of damaging insects, they are the ‘perfect’ solution for growers. The problem comes in the longevity of these poisons in the plants. Unfortunately most of the plants that are sold in chain stores and large garden centers, all have been grown with these pesticides. With recent attention being given to Neonics, some growers have stopped using them…and are gladly posting that information on their plant tags.
The only sure way of knowing that your plants have been grown without the use of Neonics, is by buying from chemical free growers and garden centers. We do know for a fact, that bees are an absolute necessity in our lives. As a matter of fact, they are an absolute necessity for all of life as we know it!
So unless the bees are someplace where they should not be or they are going to cause you immediate harm….Leave the Bees alone!