Pollinator Garden at Denver Zoo

In celebration of pollinator week, Swingle is excited to announce their sponsorship of Denver Zoo’s Pollinator Pathway Garden, opening Saturday, June 25th from 9:30 am-4:00 pm.

This continues Swingle’s mission to help protect Colorado’s pollinators, especially the bee community, when conducting services out in the field.

Why bees are vital to our existence

The news has been buzzing lately about the decline of our bee populations, and the dramatic consequences their loss could have globally.

According to Greenpeace.org, honey bees perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide, and therefore are invaluable to our food supply. “Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops – which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition – are pollinated by bees.”

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Scientists have identified a variety of factors contributing to the decline – drought conditions, habitat destruction, lack of nutrition, global warming and more.

While government agencies and animal conservation organizations are ramping up their efforts to help better protect pollinators, there are things you can do to make your property more bee friendly – thus encouraging and securing their existence.

The two easiest ways any homeowner can make their space more bee friendly are by planting the proper flowers for nutrition and providing them with a clean water supply.

Make your home pollinator friendly

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The two easiest ways any homeowner can make their space more bee friendly is by planting the proper flowers for nutrition, and providing them with a clean water supply.

Flowers that support pollinators
Bees need flowers to collect nectar and pollen throughout the growing season. Your garden plan should include plants, shrubs and trees that bloom at different intervals (early spring through the first frost).

Planting “drifts” of a single type of flower makes it easier for the bees to locate the blooms, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful masses of flowers as well.

Perennials:
Crocus, Daffodil, Hyacinth, Tulip, Allium, Broom, Penstemon, Salvia, Heliotrope, Foxglove, Primrose, Peony, Scabiosa, Iris, Dianthus, Thyme, Sedum, Ice Plant, Butterfly Weed, Dahlia, Blanket Flower, Veronica, Day lily, Oriental lily, Delphinium, Clematis, Honeysuckle, Wisteria, Gladiola, Hibiscus, Mint, Coneflower, Bee Balm, Hyssop, Lavender, Coreopsis, Russian Sage, Astilbe, Coral Bells, Yarrow, Goldenrod, Anemone, Maximillian Sunflower

Shrubs:
Nine bark, Forsythia, Lilac, Daphne, Viburnum, Pussy Willow, Cistene Plum, Nanking Cherry, Blueberry, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Magnolia, Barberry, Rose, Butterfly Bush, Mock Orange, Spirea, Potentilla, Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea

Trees:
Maple, Crabapple, Plum, Peach, Apple, Redbud, Apricot, Cherry, Hawthorn, Honey Locust, Black locust, Pear, Linden, Golden Rain Tree, Pagoda Tree, Buckeye, Horse Chestnut, Catalpa

Annuals:
Squash, Tomato, Pepper, Basil, Borage, Sunflower, Zinnia, Eggplant, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Bean, Cucumber, Dill, Tomatillo, Cosmos

When the long days of summer are gone, many of the plants that fed bees throughout the season are no longer blooming. However, many can be kept flowering by making sure to remove any dead blossoms regularly.

Keeping your plants well hydrated will also help flowers bloom right up until the first frost. Plant Asters and Mums to extend the blooming season in your yard.

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Bees need hydration
Bee colonies need water throughout the year. During hot summer days, the bees will use the water they’ve collected to cool down their hive, as well as to dilute stored honey so it’s easier to consume.

Author and speaker Srikumar Rao once said, “When the flower blossoms, the bee will come.” Are you doing your part?

 

UPDATE:
On Saturday, June 25th, Swingle and the Denver Zoo opened the Pollinator Pathway – supporting the pairs ongoing efforts for education and sustainability across Colorado.

The Pollinator Pathway was recognized as the 200,000th certified Backyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday.

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