Bee The Change
Your commitment to protecting our environment, economic resources, and recreational lands from noxious weeds does not need to come at the expense of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Here, we have compiled information about our non-invasive flower blend as well as pollinator friendly weed control.
Bees are an essential part of our landscapes including farming and urban areas, yet many bee species are on the decline. Lincoln County Noxious Weed Board along with other County Weed Boards across the state are partnering up to inform the public about this matter and how they can get involved. Honeybees provide many benefits to the agricultural industry. Many of our food crops require the use of pollinators. Without pollination we lose the foods we love.
A few of the reasons believed to aid in this decline are:
- Bee diseases or parasites
- Pesticides, especially insecticides used in the wrong place at the wrong time
- Loss of habitat and nutritious forage plants
Invasive species are considered to be beneficial to most bee keepers but they are not beneficial to our environment. They out compete our native plants and are more expensive to control. They take up water resources, reduce yields and some species are toxic to animals and human beings.
Although bees are attracted to some noxious weeds that have bright flowers like Dalmatian Toadflax, Diffuse and Spotted Knapweed, we really would like them to choose a better non-invasive flower. Our goal is to replace noxious weeds with quality non-invasive plants and flowers that bees and other pollinators such as butterflies need.
We can still BEE smart and control our weeds!
- Avoid applying any pesticides including insecticides and fungicides during bloom when the bees are most attracted to the flowers.
- When pesticide application cannot be avoided we suggest you use targeted formulations with the least toxic ingredient and follow manufactures directions, apply it directly and locally as possible and apply when bees are not active.
- Plant desirable species that are attractive to bees.
This year we are offering a FREE pollinator seed packet to jump start your part on helping out the bees! These packets include a variety of beautiful, non-invasive garden plants that are much friendlier to our landscapes! This flower blend is a fantastic way to attract pollinators to gardens and other landscaped areas. Stop by the Weed Board office to get a non-invasive and pollinator friendly flower seed packet, while supplies last.
Seed Packet Contents:
|Lupinus succulentus/harwegii (Annual Lupine)
Coreopsis lanceolata (Lance-Leaved Coreopsis)
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Helianthus annuus (Dwarf Sunspot Sunflower)
Lupinus perennis (Perennual Lupine)
Gaillardia aristata (Blanketflower)
Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea)
Ratibida columnaris (Mexican Hat)
Cosmos bippinatus (Cosmos Sensations Mix)
Phacelia tanacetifolia (Lacy Phacelia)
Coreopsis tinctoria (Plain Coreopsis)
Penstemon strictus (Rockey Mountain Penstemon)
Monarda citridora (Lemon Mint)
Limnanthes douglassi (Poached Egg Meadowfoam)
Trifolium incarnatum (Crimson Clover)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed)
Salvia farinacea (Blue Sage)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamont/Bee Balm)
Little Work…Big Results!
There are some important factors that you need to consider when planting your Bee Feed mix.
You don’t need bare ground to plant the wild flower mix. You do need it to be noxious weed free. These flowers are broadleaf plants and most invasive weeds are broadleaf as well. So spraying them with a broadleaf herbicide will kill both your invasive and the flowers you just planted. You can set up a weed walk with one of our staff and find out what noxious weeds may be on your property.
Once you know where you want to start your pollinator habitat. The next step is to prepare the seed bed. You may see some bare ground or niches between the grasses you already have established. These niches are a great place to start. For small area site prep you can rake the ground and break up the top soil. For a larger area you can use a harrow or disk behind a tractor.
For your benefit we already did the hard work for you. We have beneficial pollinator seed mixes all ready for you to plant. There is no guessing or leg work to find out what the bees like best! These mixes have been carefully selected and will provide bloom from spring to fall with a mix of perennial and annual wildflowers. This means the bees always have a source of nectar.
When seeding you want to make sure you get an even coverage on the ground. This ensures that you will have a better chance of not letting invasive species in your pollinator habitat later on. Only buy noxious weed free seed from reputable seed distributors.
Unless we are experiencing a drought we do not usually need to water the seedbed. If the seeds germinate and there is no rainfall predicted it might be best to do some supplemental irrigation to ensure seedling survival.
After you have established a growing pollinator habitat you will need to do some maintenance on it. Such as, hand pulling weeds that are undesirable and mowing at the end of the growing season to help spread seed.
After a little work you will have a beautiful meadow or area that will be full of colorful non-native flowers and you will be doing your part in helping the bee colonies out in their survival.
To purchase a larger quantity, bee mix is available in various sizes at Rainier Seeds Inc. in Davenport, WA (509) 725-1235
A custom pollinator blend can also be formulated for you at Landmark Turf and Native Seed, in Airway Heights, WA (800) 268-0180