Bee-GoneI would rather be gardening in my yard than anywhere else. The only exception would be if I were in Tuscany drinking a limoncello at a table next to an olive tree. I realize not all of you share my fondness for gardens, but I know most of you share my love for food.

Which is why this post is about honeybees. They pollinate 90 percent of all American crops, most yellow and blue flowers, berries, apples, watermelons, citrus, mums, crocuses, dahlias, and tomatoes. A partial list of bee pollinated plants can be found here. Due to climate changes our honeybees are dying. There are less than 5% of our feral colonies left due to loss of natural habitat, and beekeepers are currently battling with a deadly mite that is killing our domesticated bees at the rate of 85%.

Now I don’t particularly care for honey, except when it’s in baklava. But a life without limoncello is not worth living. Or wine for that matter.

Yesterday, I planted some purple Bee Balm and Lemon Verbena. I’ve dedicated a space in my backyard to the honeysuckle and the clover, and allowed it to run rampant. I never have used pesticides or fertilizers because of pets. I hate to mow the lawn, but now I’ve learned it’s good for the bees, I’ll be mowing only when the grass is above my ankles.

Hope the bees come back.