When I walk through my garden in the morning. There are lots of visitors. Cicadas, hover flies, butterflys, grasshoppers(grrr), dragon flies, wasps, and bumble bees. The bumble bees buzz by my head almost every day. This is a little startling, but I have learned not to swat. The bees will not sting unless disturbed (touched) while nectaring or when they feel the hive is threatened. This is a live and let live situation. I rarely get stung and the garden is covered up in bumble bees and wasps.
Unfortunately, I have not seen many honey bees this year. I look for them, they just don't seem to be around. This morning, I found one. She was nectaring on this sun flower. She buzzed off before I could snap her picture. Boy, was I happy to see that little critter.
Here is a short list of things to grow and provide to help out the bees
1. Nectar and pollen flowers. I like zinnias.
2. Violet colored flowers.
3. Bees like a bloom with a bulls eye - Dark eye.
4. Puddled water
5. Variety of blooming plant material.
6. Native plants.
The don't list is pretty straight forward. Pesticides are out. Even many organic pesticides are not selective. They will harm a bee just like they will harm a squash bug. If the bee is visiting a squash bloom you sprayed with poison to kill the squash bug, guess who else gets nuked. Oh and anyone who wants to get into the argument about BT, that's fine, but it will kill butterfly caterpillars, just like it will kill cabbage loopers. Just saying.
One other odd factoid. Bees can't see red.
Here is some moth Middle Monkey found. I think it had just come out of it's chrysalis and had not pumped up its wings yet.