You might have heard the bug-a-boo (sorry about the pun!) being raised for the past month or so, by the "drive-by" media, about the supposed "disappearance" of honey bees.
Supposedly, honey bees have disappeared from about 17 states or so. They just aren't; being seen in the numbers that they used to be. Of course, the experts have to hypothesize and come up with theories. The theories I have heard so far blame the disappearance of honey bees on global warming (what else is new ..... hey, maybe we can bring back Y2K as a scapegoat) and one idiot even blamed the increased use of cell phones!
While mowing the lawn today, I think I hit upon one of the real answers. As I was going up and down my front yard, I was looking up and down both sides of my short street, at my other neighbor's yards. A lot of these folks spend a lot of money on Lawn Doctor and services like that to create lawns that look more like lush green carpets from the Emerald Isle, rather than ordinary suburban yards. I throw down some Scotts Turf Builder Plus 2 once or twice a season to keep the dandelions down. Other than mowing on a regular basis, I let nature take its course. Yeah, my lawn isn't going to make the cover of "Better Homes and Gardens" and I'll probably never make it on to HGTV, either. My lawn is full, it's green, it hardly has any dandelions or crabgrass; but I do have one thing that I noticed a lot of my neighbor's lawns don't have.
I got clover !!!!! I have a veritable ton of those little white budsy things popping out between the Kentucky Blue Grass or whatever kind of grass it is that makes up my lawn. And you know what else I have? I got honey bees visiting each of those little clover blossoms looking for nectar so they can make honey!
Lesson learned - goes crazy with Lawn Doctor or go overboard with chemicals so that your lawn looks magazine perfect and you're going to chase away the honey bees. If there's no clover for nectar; what self-respecting honey bee is going to waste time coming to your lawn?
Seems kind of simple when you think about it - doesn't it? Now is this the total answer to the disappearance of the honey bees? Probably not; but I'll bet is a goodly part of the problem. Again ...... look up and down my street. Out of 10 front yards, I see clover blossoms on only three or four of them. I'll bet years ago EVERYBODY had clover mixed in with their grass and didn't even think twice about it. It's only now, that your front lawn has to be this shee-shee designer looking green carpet that we realized we have a problem.
73 de Larry W2LJ