So...you may have noticed I am all about the bees right now. I want to encourage everyone to plant some bee-friendly plants and flowers in their gardens The world's bees are in a terrible state. Hive pests such as beetles and mites are stressing the bees in their hives and external factors like insecticides, unfriendly agricultural practices, and others have caused an alarming drop in the bee populations worldwide. Bees travel up to 4 miles to find pollen to bring back to the hive. This pollen is essential for their survival, and the more we can help them the more hope we have for stronger hives. Stronger hives will help the bees recover from the Colony Collapse Disorder that has decimated the bee population worldwide. Here is an example of a planting list for Northern California. http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/list.html You can help by planting pollen producing plants in your garden. I have planted lots of nasturtiums and lavender, and have started lots of Sunflowers, particularly Lemon Queen, which the bees love. If you shop for sunflowers, please take a minute to make sure you are not getting a pollenless hybrid. I also let my coleus and basil go to flower, the bees love it....rosemary, single zinnias, dills, heirloom marigolds, cosmos have all been wonderful attractants to the bees. If you plant more basil than you need, you can let it go to flower and the bees will love you You local agricultural extension service, or closest botanical garden is a great resource for information on bee friendly plants. Your bee visitors will also appreciate some fresh water, like in a birdbath or shallow garden water feature If you have a bee garden, please share!