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Herb Gardening

Q.Fear of bees and want to grow herbs and vegetables

Zone 32310 | Anonymous added on August 4, 2017 | Answered

Hello, I don’t know a lot about growing herbs and vegetables. I have a ton of questions regarding bees and gardening. I am sorry for the amount of questions and writing. I appreciate you taking the time to answer me back.

I have a crazy bad fear of bees. I don’t go on my porch during the summer because I see more bees during that season. I’m trying to decide whether I should even invest in an herb and vegetable garden because I don’t want the fruits of the labor to go to waste if I don’t keep up with it because of bees being around. Any advice on which herbs and vegetables that won’t attract any bees would be helpful in deciding which to do if I were to do it. I desire having fresh herbs and vegetables but I don’t want to anger my husband if I don’t go out to water them because of my fear of bees. Right now we have 4 hanging plants (no idea what they are, just found them growing on the sides of the house and pulled them as i wanted something to hang on our porch for looks wise). I have now passed on the duty of watering them to my poor husband these past few months as i’ve seen more bees around.

Also, is there a particular number of months where bees are more active and come around? Is it true that bees aren’t really around in winter time? Mind you, this is Florida winter we are talking about. So 40-60 degrees. I am outside more in winter because of my usual routine of staying indoors during summer not only because of heat but because of bees and other bugs.

It would be helpful to know whether a self-watering system in a greenhouse would help me as I wouldn’t have to go out there as much then. Let’s say I build myself a small greenhouse and self-watering system…do the bees pollinate for only a certain period of plant growth or are they going to be around all the time? Like maybe I could stay away during a certain time period as they are doing their pollinating duties…but how does that fit into the time where the fruits of the planting can and should be pulled for use? Like I should stay away from the plants as soon as I put them in (not from seed. Not interested in that. These would be plants bought and repotted) because once the bees do their work that’s when the fruits/vegetables/leaves start coming in? Is that the sign that the bees are done with their work, when it actually gets closer to the time to pull the fruits? How does that all work? I’m not sure if I’m making sense.

I assume I can’t start putting the plants in my garden during the colder months or towards the end of the colder months (so that bees aren’t around and the weather is more pleasant) and then I leave them basically alone until ready. I also assume I can’t expect much growth in winter versus summer unless there’s certain hardy vegetables that I could grow in winter instead…all because of my stupid fear of bees. Yeesh.

I’ve never been stung but my mom is allergic and there’s nothing wrong with me having a fear of being stung because it’s rational to not want to be stung. However, I do know that I have a more intense fear of bees than most. I’ve played with the idea of buying a bee suit when mowing or when i want to work on the landscape in the future. However, gosh it would be hot.

Thank you so much for your time. I greatly appreciate it.

-Marie in Tallahassee, FL

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
David Wynne
Answered on August 5, 2017

You need to think about plants that do not require pollination, ie those that do not flower. Herbs - try sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint. These will only flower when going to seed and will be of little use then. Veg - onions for summer, leeks, sprouts, winter cabbage will all survive a moderate winter and will taste better when picked late winter / early spring having been frosted a little.

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