Helping Our Pollinators

The sinister honeybee destroyer, colony collapse disorder, may have wiped out half of all bees in the United States. Half.

Fourth Street Farm's Sherry Maddock told me last week that she leaves every flowering plant in place in her beautiful yard and garden—and that includes henbit, dandelion, and chickweed, the spring-blooming plants Kentucky gardeners love to hate. The point is to nourish any pollinators, honeybees or the many other small insects, flies, wasps, and bumblebees that travel from flower to flower. After the flowering, perhaps the pulling of "weeds," (at least two of them edible.)

A priceless honeybee pollinates our three-year old Montmorency Cherry tree.

I am enthralled with the emerging blooms on our two young Montmorency cherry trees. Finding a real honeybee doing its life-giving work in a bloom today made my heart soar.

Fourth Street Farm's bees all died over the winter. So did the thriving colonies in the Old Episcopal Burying Ground, next to the London Ferrill Community Garden, just behind our house. Fifth Street Apiary takes care of all of those hives. Fortunately, some of Fifth Street's colonies survived, and we are likely on the edge of their bees' working area.

The world's climate is changing so radically we may not be able to adjust. For me, a small reciprocal change is learning to treasure chickweed, henbit, dandelions, bumblebees, and wasps for what they contribute to our food system and our very life.

Rona RobertsComment