Flowering plants and the honey bees and other insects are best friends forever. This beautiful relation is due to the pollination done by the bees while plants lure them with food. However, not every flowering plant is helpful for the bees. It may become invasive whenever a new type of flowering plant is introduced into any specific area or place. Many beekeepers are not often in favour of these invasive plants, but there are a few invasive plants that honey bees love despite their bad reputation.
Why Are Invasive Plants Considered Bad for Honey Bees?
Invasive plants adapt very quickly to a new area. Though they are not native to the place, they reproduce very rapidly, increasing the risk of harm to the native plants and property or the economy. However, some invasive plants are super-attractive and a significant food source for the bees. This list includes invasive plants like –
- Japanese Knotweed
- Himalayan Blackberry
- Bristly Oxtongue
- The Knapweeds
- Tamarisk Trees
- Multiflora Rose
- Purple Loosestrife
- Mimosa (Silk Tree) Albizia Julibrissin
- Chinese Tallow
Generally speaking, invasive plants create the year’s profit, but in any case, are weeds that dislodge many local species the best thing for honey bee wellbeing? Probably not!
A definitive problem that influences local honey bees and bumblebees is that invasive plants make monocultures. The word monoculture essentially infers that one harvest (or one weed) develops over a vast region to exclude all else. For honey bees, the monoculture is a one-trick pony, blossoming at one time with a single amino acid profile in the pollen. Though a large area of single nectar source blooming at the same time provides abundant food, it makes bees suffer nutritionally due to only receiving one food profile.
Nectar and bee pollen from various sources have novel amino acids and wholesome substances. However, eating just one kind of food isn’t great for us or the honey bees.
Also, local plants might suffer if the invasive plant is more alluring to pollinators. As a result, they may not be pollinated well. As they fail to deliver seed, local plants with a more extended flowering period might vanish from the local landscape.
This establishes an environment that gives enormous raw honey harvests yet unhealthy honey bee colonies. Is the momentary gain worth the long-term loss?
The Real Taste of Life is in Variety –
While considering the human diet, eating various food products is essential to stay healthy. Indeed, we’re educated to eat numerous sources of nutrients, minerals, sugars, protein, and fats. It’s hard to be healthy, assuming we eat only one thing at a time. Carrots, oats, and salmon are supposed to be great for us, yet assuming we ate only carrots for about a month and a half, just oats for about a month and a half, and salmon for six more, odds are good that we wouldn’t feel great by the end of eighteen weeks.
A restricted eating routine can be hurtful because no food has the entire supplements we want. In a typical habitat, we would eat anything we killed or got or dug from the ground, similar to berries, leaves, tubers, bugs, and fish. Our foraging eating regimen probably won’t have the abundance found on a super combination pizza; however, it would have the variety.
Honey bees also require variety. Not many plants produce pollen with amino acids required by the honey bees to flourish. There is no shortage of supply in an environment where different flowering plants bloom at different times, since another plant supplies what one plant comes up short on.
What to Consider While Planting for Bees?
After recognizing the problems and benefits of invasive plants, some beekeepers might not prefer to eliminate the plants they feel are beneficial. However, as the nectar gathered from the invasive plants makes the difference between profit and loss, beekeepers are usually in a dilemma about eliminating these plants.
According to Mr. Basem Barry, founder & CEO of Gehoney, giving a genuine thought to plant choice & planting a pollinator friendly garden is essential to be a great environmental citizen. Do your homework before planting as you pick plants for honey bees or bushes for the scene. Try to avoid transplants and seeds that will spoil the local ecosystem. Keep in mind that the invasive plant in one area may not be in another area or environment. As beekeepers and homeowners, while selecting plants for the bees – it is good to settle on the ideal choices possible. After all, we all need a healthy climate for everyone!