Algoplus Garden Blog

Buzz Buzz We're Busy as a bee this May!

We are buzzing around the garden this May! The garden is tilled, soil is prepped and plants are in the ground. Our gardens are in full swing and most are showing their first blossoms!


Did you know the bumble bee was recently added
to the endangered species list?

Bees and other beneficial insects are essential to our gardens and, sadly, the bumble bee was recently added to the endangered species list. Pollinator decline in any form is alarming the general public as well as the scientific community.


Not only are the bumble bees in danger but several other bee species as well. Honey Bee Colony Colapse Disorder (CCD) is the phenomenon that occurs when the most of the worker bees in a colony do not return to the hive, leaving behind the queen, food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen. The hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees and eventually die out. A combination of climate change, disease, loss of habitat, parasites and, especially, pesticides have contributed to the CCD.

The consequence of a declining bee population poses a great threat to our agriculture system right down into our backyard gardens.

All plants benefit from the most widely recognized pollinators, bees. Pollen sticks to the hairs on the bee's body and as the bee moves to a female flower, the pollen with stick to the pistil, fertilizing the plant to mature into fruit. During this time, it's important to consider your garden's pollination to produce your plant's blossoms.

When you have an issue with pollination you will notice that garden plants will flower, but ultimately do not product fruit. This is a fairly common problem with cucumber, squash, and melon plants. It's true that plants, like tomato, that have complete flowers do "self-fertilize" but also need movement to do so.

It's time to think like a bee!

Sae the Bees!

Bumble bees depend upon a string of flowering plants from early spring when the queen emerges to late summer to early fall when the colony dies.

The following will go over a few things you can do to keep the bees buzzing in your garden.

#1 Healthy soil

The secret to a lush, productive garden is in the soil. A good soil regime and healthy plant will ward off most disease, decrease bad pest population and create a balanced environment. Visit our Soil Preparation for more information on proper soil management.

#2 Only use pesticides, insecticides and herbicides when absolutely necessary

If you must apply poisons to treat for pests, it is important to read the directions carefully and follow label instructions to protect bees.

Avoid applying harmful chemicals on flowers and choose liquid pesticides when available to keep the chemicals from spreading back to the hives. As an extra layer of protection, apply late afternoon or evening when bees are not as active.

#3 Provide a place to live

You don't have to be a bee keeper to help the bees find a home. Undisturbed groundss provide great areas for most bees to set up camp. You can also choose to make or purchase bee houses for your garden. Here are a few helpful links below.

Bumble Bee House

Clay Pot Bee Nesting Home

Mason Bee Houses (excellent pollinators!)

#4 Feed the bees

Entice them into your garden by choosing native, single petal flowers planted in patches around your garden.

A perfect way to attract pollinators to your garden is by starting a wildflower patch. Bright and vivid blossoms attract bees best. Choose whites, blues and purples to get the bees attention again and again.


It's as simple as plan, plant, grow!

One of the best things about wildflowers is how easy they are to grow!


  1. Pick a spot that gets 6 or more hours of sunlight.

  2. Clear out the vegetation where you want to create your garden and till in garden soil or compost to the top 1” layer.

  3. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the soil.

  4. Press the seeds into the soil with a garden roller or gently walk on them with your feet.

    Tip: A light layer of straw mulch will keep it in place and conserve moisture.

  5. Water the soil so it is damp, not soaking wet, twice a day until the seedlings are about 4-6" tall.

    After this, they can survive on rain water unless the weather is dry for an extended period of time.




#5 Provide water in or near your garden

Not only do the little bees need to take a break from all their hard work of feeding the world, birds will also enjoy it... and will be busy eating up the pests in your garden!

Simply fill a bird bath or any other water holding container with water and place near your garden. Be sure to change the water daily, or no less than every other day to ensure you don't invite mosquitos or other bad bugs a place to live.

National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators

While the general public may be shocked to learn of this rapid decline, environmental and government agencies have long been aware. In 2015, the White House issued a report entitled, "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators", which aimed to come up with a system to protect bees and butterflies. National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators The administration's strategy will seek to manage the way forests burned by wildfire are replanted, the way offices are landscaped and the way roadside habitats where bees feed are preserved.



What happens if the bees die?

Should we be worried? There are over 4000 species native species of bees that can be found anywhere a flower blooms in the United States. Honeybee hives have long provided humans with honey and beeswax, but it's not just about these shortages. Our world would look and work much differently without the bees. While they're not the only insect pollinators, bees are one of the world’s greatest pollinators because they spend most of their lives collecting pollen on their fuzzy bodies to feed their babies.

Bees pollinate 80% of the world's plants including 90 different food crops and are responsible for about 1 out of every 3 bites of food in the United States. We wouldn't necessarily starve without them, but our diets would be a lot more bland and a lot less nutritious.

Check out this video from AsapSCIENCE What Happens If All The Bees Die? 

These tips are general recommendations for USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10.

Be sure to check North America's USDA plant hardiness zones map for your specific zone when planning your gardening and selecting plants.