What if you could improve your curb appeal and support the environment at the same time? There has been much “buzz” lately about the importance of creating habitats for bees and pollinating insects. When the bee population declines, so does the ability to produce the fruits and vegetables that we eat. We need our bees to take the “sting” out of hunger. They are our busy friends who spread the pollen from plant to plant, insuring that we go on eating.

Here are three tips for things that you can do to make friends with the bees in your neighborhood while also improving your curb appeal…

Tip #1 Plant bee friendly flowers

Flowers will beautify your landscape and provide plenty of pollen for the bees. If you don’t have a lot of land, small flowering plants can be placed in window boxes and borders around your home. Remember to plant different types of flowers which bloom throughout the growing season. The bees and insects will have something to feed upon for the entire season.

Here are some ideas for what to grow…

Spring: Try planting crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac.

Summer: Bees love to feast on bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons, foxglove, and hosta.

Fall: Zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod will tempt late season foragers.

Tip #2 Plant flowering fruit trees

Fruit trees are ideal for bees. They love to help you produce delicious fruit by flying from blossom to blossom and spreading the pollen around. Many fruit trees need to be planted in pairs (at a minimum) in order to cross pollinate. Be sure to check on this with your nursery before purchasing. If you have a bit of land or a longer driveway that you would like to line with trees, consider the option of fruit trees or bushes. You will have gorgeous flowers in the spring and delicious fruit in the fall.

Tip #3 Skip the pesticide

One of the major causes that scientists site for the dwindling bee population is the use of pesticides. To keep your bee friends happy and healthy… and also to maintain your own personal health, refrain from using toxic pesticides on your lawn, flowers and fruit trees whenever possible. You can research companion planting if you want to know how to naturally repel the invasive insects and diseases that could affect your garden without the use of pesticides.

Just imagine the appeal of walking barefoot in your pesticide free lawn, smelling the amazing aroma of your beautiful flower garden, while eating a piece of fruit that your bee friends made possible for you to grow!

Sandy Freschi is a Buyer Agent on The Power Realtors team. She and her husband Bob are the owners of Depot Street Orchard in Jonesborough, TN.