Patz Maple & Honey
241 River Drive, Pound, WI 54161
SUPPORT HARD WORKING BEES!
Whether it's honey in your tea or honey on your peanut butter toast, honey is an essential part of our daily lives. We'd like to welcome our newest vendor that offers locally grown, family cultivated honey and maple syrup. Clifford and Nancy Patz started tapping maple trees in their own backyard as a hobby. In order to offer an additional natural product to go along with maple syrup, they started with 10 beehives in their backyard. Throughout the years, their hives have grown to over 350 beehives. They keep most of their hives in old converted school buses (as seen above) to protect them from bears.
Below is an article written especially for the Brown Deer Farmers Market that tells you how to bring bees into your own backyard! (No school buses required!)
Bees in Your Backyard:
Tips for picking the right mix of plants in your vegetable garden.
Written by: Christy Erickson
Vegetable gardens are a popular way for families to incorporate healthy foods into their diet with minimal cost. Plenty of vegetables are easy to grow at home, but it is important to realize that many of them rely on bees for pollination. As you plan your vegetable garden, factor in ways to attract bees so you can increase your yields and help these insects at the same time.
Bees need our help
Bees are said to be connected to one out of every three bites of food we eat. Food Nutrition Science details that numerous bee species have been facing substantial population declines in recent years and experts have struggled to pinpoint the exact causes of this crisis.
It is believed that viruses, mites, a lack of food sources, pesticides, weather changes, and a lack of genetic diversity all factor into these population drops. Bees impact U.S. crops worth approximately $15 billion each year, and if their numbers continue to drop, it could lead to a major impact on our food supply.
Your vegetable garden benefits from bees visiting
Many vegetables need bee pollination in order to thrive. While pollination can take place via the wind and some other insects or birds, bees are the most efficient pollinators around. Attracting bees to your garden is essential if you want healthy crop production, and there are some specific plants to consider incorporating to up your chances of success.
There is a wide variety of vegetables you can plant in your garden to attract bees. Squash of all types are popular choices, as are peas, beans, and cucumbers. Kale, onions, carrots, and peppers make good picks for a bee-friendly garden, and arugula, eggplants, turnips, gourds, and pumpkins do well in filling out a pollinator garden.
Incorporate some flowers to further attract bees
Oftentimes, gardeners find that adding some traditional flowering plants to their vegetable garden helps bring in the bees and increase their overall vegetable yield. Homestead Revival suggests adding plants like sunflowers, lavender, sweet peas, zinnias, purple cornflower, and goldenrod to your garden for this purpose.
Get creative and mix things up
Keep in mind that different species of bees are attracted to different plants, so incorporate as much variety as your space allows. You want plants of different heights, sizes, and shapes to appeal to different types of pollinators, but you also want to cluster multiples of the same plant together to make them easy to find.
As Mother Earth News notes, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your bee-friendly vegetable garden. You can keep things simple or experiment with colors, shapes, and textures to make a more complex plan. Anticipate the height of plants you want to put next to one another, perhaps flowing from tallest to shortest, and play with complementary color hues and mixing plant textures.
Some flowers can help protect your vegetables from pests
You may also want to include some plants that naturally repel other garden pests so you can avoid chemical pesticides in your garden. Pesticides are believed to be one of the elements negatively impacting bee populations, so going natural can help them thrive. Marigolds, borage, catmint, scented geraniums, and sage are often helpful in repelling garden pests without harming the bees.
Planting a vegetable garden is a wonderful way to ensure you have quality foods on hand while also supporting the bees. You can incorporate traditional flowers in your vegetable garden to further entice the bees and consider adding varieties that naturally repel damaging pests. Whether you keep things simple or get creative and complex, maintaining a vegetable garden is an easy way to help struggling species of bees near your home.