The following announcement was provided by Watertown Friends of the Bees:
You’ve probably heard the phrase “save the bees,” but the bees who need the most help may not be the bees you think of first. In addition to the fuzzy bumblebees we know and love, and the honeybees that give us honey there are many types of native bees you may not have noticed.
Honeybees are actually European, but our native bees come in many sizes and colors, and often live solitary lives rather than in colonial hives. Some native bees nest in hollow plant stems, while others nest in the ground. One of our local ground-nesting bees is the bicolored striped sweat bee, a striking bee with a metallic green head and thorax, and a striped abdomen. They have short tongues and are often seen atop flowers like asters and goldenrods. These sweat bees and other native bees need help because with each parcel of natural land that is built up or converted to a lawn treated with chemicals, these bees lose more habitat.
But we can help save these bees: by adding habitat back to our yards. By converting some of your lawn into a garden that is free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you will be providing food and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Pesticides don’t only affect your “pest” insects, they affect all insects including our bees and butterflies. Natural soil additions like compost and autumn leaf litter, on the other hand, help your garden retain moisture and support living organisms in and above the soil.
On September 12, you can experience several wonderful chemical-free landscapes during the Life-Friendly Garden Tour hosted by Friends of Bees, a working group of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment. In the first tour since 2019, our very own Watertown neighbors will be hosting visitors in their gardens to share stories, answer questions, and offer inspiration. You’ll head home with a renewed vision for your own life-friendly, chemical-free yard with a few more plants and perhaps a few shiny green bees.
The Life-Friendly Garden Tour will take place on Sunday, September 12 from 1 until 5pm. For more information and a map of the gardens, scan the QR code below or visit https://watertowncitizens.org/working-groups/life-friendly-garden-tour/