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If you’re tracking the email topics these past few weeks, you know I’m doing a deep dive into some of our pet peeves. (Click here to catch up.)

If it was once or twice, we’d let it go, but we get this request on a regular basis.

“Can you use plants that don’t attract bees?”

Honestly, we do not expect our clients to know everything about what we do. Matter fact we count it a privilege to be able to explain many things about living outdoors.

But . . .  this question . . . confounds us.

  1. There’s no way on this great earth that we have the power to control bees and insects. 
  2. The real insect you do not like (nor do we really) are yellow jackets. Overall wasps are not pollinators, so they do not visit flowers on plants. Wasps create nests in all kinds of places regardless of plants. (like garages, attics, trees, etc.)
  3. If you live in Chicago, you’re more likely to have a rat problem than a bee problem.

So then what are the insects that are in the garden? 

According to The Nature Education, “There are over 200,000 species of animal pollinators and the vast majority of these are insects (Berenbaum 2007). Insect pollinators include beetles, flies, ants, moths, butterflies, bumble bees, honeybees, solitary bees, wasps.” And we need these pollinators. Otherwise, our ecosystem begins to collapse. 

The Good News?!

Bees DO NOT CARE if you are near them. They do not want anything to do with you. They are singularly focused on getting pollen and nectar. Check out this bee – just one of multitudes of active pollinators in my garden.

https://www.topiarius.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Bees.mp4’m not advocating recklessness, but the “risk of a sting from bees in your yard or garden is very small, especially with a bit of advance knowledge.”

Garden Task Force of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC)

If you’re still not convinced that you want to be around bees, or any insects for that matter, then the best bet is to not have any plants, try the faux plant route, or even do a screened in porch. But you won’t escape nature 100%. (The best way to keep yellow jackets away is to not have any food or sugary drinks with you outdoors.)

For us, being around bees is counted a privilege. To encourage bees and all pollinators into our environment encourages dynamic growth that sustains us all. 

P.S. Don’t miss out on why mulch volcanos are BAD and why you don’t want to get PUNKED by awful pruning.

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