Winter bulbs support bees

Winter bulbs support bees

Unless your yard is full of nature’s flower bulbs like these trout lilies, you will need to provide a food source for bees that forage on warm days in the winter and early spring.

Many native bee species wander out on warmer days in the winter looking for food. Nature provides ephemeral wildflowers in the winter and early spring, but the average suburban homeowner has little to offer. Unless you live on an undisturbed lot full of wildflowers, the early months of the year provide limited opportunity for bees to forage.

Not to worry: You can add beautiful winter- and spring-blooming bulbs that both you and the bees can enjoy. Winter bulbs can be planted as long as the ground is not frozen solid and you have weeks of freezing temperatures ahead (some bulbs require more weeks of cold temperatures than others to perform well in the first year). Easily available options include snowdrops, winter crocus, aconite and Siberian squill. Check sales at the local garden center or look online to see what options are still in stock. Most bulbs that bloom in the winter and early spring are not showy, so they are best planted in a mass.

Once you’ve labored to get them in the ground, bulbs require little-to-no maintenance. You’ve found an easy solution to brightening up your winter garden and feeding the bees.

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