Landscapes will soon be transitioning from the dormant phase to actively growing and one of the most beneficial insects of all will be back in action. As soon as flowers open, bees will be visiting to gather pollen and nectar.
This year be a little more observant in the landscape and at your local nursery so that you protect bees during your yard activities. Several insecticides will have new labels that indicate a toxicity to bees and restrictions about applications to blooming plants. Since many landscapes have a wide variety of blooming plants, be very careful not to inadvertently spray when bees are visiting open flowers. Bees are not only killed by a direct spray of certain insecticides, but may carry residual pesticides back to the colony in pollen and nectar.
Since bees and other pollinators are so vital to our food production system, all people who work in landscapes or enjoy gardening as a hobby, need to be a part of bee protection. Read labels, only spray when absolutely necessary, and learn that a little cosmetic damage is worth it in order to protect pollinators.
Some selections of hollies are one of the first landscape shrubs visited by bees in the winter. Learn about the other plants in your yard that are visited by bees so you are better able to protect them.