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Ensuring continuous food sources for the pollinators

Sweat bee on a Klondike sulphur orange cosmos blossom

Planting native plants in pots in our backyard really is a great example of "if you build it they will come".

We constantly have bee visitors throughout the day, many at a time.

This year, to ensure that there always is a food source blooming for the pollinators, I have been purchasing plants every few months.

We already have had 4 lavender plants and several kinds of salvia for a number of years.

The lavender will bloom almost year-round, as long as you cut off the dried stems with dried blossoms. Our lavender plants are now starting their second bloom of the year.

Honey bee on lavender blossom

The two Sapphire salvia plants, along with the Blue and black salvia were in full bloom for a couple of months, from late April through late June, and then they dried up. Now, because I pruned the dried up stalks and branches, these plants are starting to produce new buds.

Fortunately nasturtiums are always reseeding themselves around the garden, so the bees and hummingbirds always have nectar from these flowers.

I purchased three cosmos plants two months ago: Klondike sulphur orange, apricot, and Prom dress. Currently, while the salvia plants are producing new buds, the pollinators are very busy on the cosmos blossoms.

Leaf cutter bee on Prom dress cosmos

The naked buckwheat plant has also proven to be very popular with bees and butterflies.

Hair streak butterfly on naked buckwheat

And the monkey flowers were a treat for the bees. But now, they too, are drying up. I'm not sure why, but we'll need to wait and see.

Honey bee on a monkey flower

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bees in the bay breeze

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