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Anise oil for bees: they will follow it anywhere

Yesterday a reader, Harold Owen, commented on my post “Five Favorite Plants for the Bee Garden” by saying that anise is an excellent bee attractant. He is absolutely right. I want to thank him for mentioning it because anise is a great bee plant. I have never grown anise in the garden. But of all […] Read more

Five favorite plants for the bee garden

Since this is the season when gardening catalogs flood my mailbox, I can’t help but think about next year’s pollinator garden. My five favorite pollinator plants are all species that attract a wide variety of wildlife. In addition, they all are relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of water. Agastache comes […] Read more

Dazzling dandelion pollen makes a fall comeback

Fall rain followed by a few sunny days brought out the dandelions here in the Pacific Northwest . . . and the honey bees noticed. Huge pellets—the color of boxed macaroni and cheese—are being carried into the hives, two-by-two. While dandelions do not provide the perfect honey bee food, their presence provides something for the […] Read more

Buckwheat: a casualty of American agriculture

I have an emotional attachment to buckwheat—it’s that simple. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, special-occasion breakfasts were celebrated with buckwheat pancakes topped with buckwheat honey. These dark-colored, robust-flavored pancakes were started the night before with a yeast batter and cooked the next morning on a cast-iron griddle, sizzling hot. The cakes were served with fresh […] Read more