Bees & Butterflies by the Numbers

Unfortunately, the numbers are decreasing in alarming degrees. I’ve been meaning to write about the disturbing disappearance of honeybees for quite some time but never seemed to find the time. Now I’m afraid time is running out.

I’ve noticed fewer bees and butterflies, particularly this summer. There seemed to be no fewer yellow jackets than the occasional visitor I’m used to, but I don’t recall spotting a honeybee once all summer. Likewise, butterflies were sadly absent. There was one moth like white butterfly that sometimes flitted by by but from the looks it was just one regular guest, not a flock by a long shot. Also, I think I only saw this butterfly – if that’s even what it was – on its own, never in the company of others.

This past weekend I went to a free event in my neighborhood. It was kid-focused, a puppet parade held in the playground behind one of the public schools. It was swarming with hungry, hyped and rowdy kids. I was ready to leave when, at the last minute, I was persuaded to stay. Staying meant, as it turned out, that I heard Jennifer Hopkins, known as the Butterfly Lady, speak about what we can do to help bring back the butterflies. She recommends planting the following flowers:

Bee balm
Butterfly bush
Butterfly weed
Purple coneflower
Wild geranium

Check out more at

And more to come on bees by the numbers.