Cincinnati Zoo working to save bees, dubbed nature’s pest control

One of the zoo’s bee houses makes an excellent addition to any yard or garden.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens is working to “save our bees,” and they want you to help.

Not only can you purchase a bee house from the zoo, they are also having a plant sale next month hosted by Klosterman Baking.

Now is the time to prepare your garden for those plants and perhaps some bees too. Bees and butterflies are two of many pollinators that make it possible for us to eat many foods we enjoy daily.

“Not only do they [bees, butterflies, and insects] pollinate most of the food that we eat, they also pollinate most of the food that wild animals eat,” said Botanical Garden Outreach Manager Scott Beuerlein, “beyond that, a lot of them are actually part-time pollinators, part-time parasitizer. So they actually control pest insects.”

Scott Beuerlein works at the Botanical Garden at the Cincinnati Zoo. He says now is the time to cleanup your garden and prepare for spring. He says if you cut down trees or limbs, don’t trash them right away. It’s best to leave them alone until the end of May because some insects may be feeding off of those limbs.

He recommends buying native plants that will bloom and grow in your backyard.

“For host plants it’s almost always going to be a native plant,” Beuerlein explained. “Cherries, oaks, milkweeds, but a wide diversity of plants is really important.”

And to make your plants grow even better, you can purchase a bee house for your backyard.

“The plants need a pollinator,” said Osima Bee Company Owner Justina Block. “The bee actually takes pollen from flower to flower allowing the plant to grow a fruit, nut or a seed.”

Block sells two different types of bees that you can house right in your backyard. They stick to a small area about the size of a football field.

You can purchase these houses here at the zoo or online.

And just in time for the spring growing season, you can take part in the Klosterman Baking native plant sale happening next month at Bowyer Farm in Warren County. It will be April 23rd and you can reserve your time slot here.

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