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Beeing kind

Enrich your garden with native pollinators.

Buzz of the bees

A rich, natural environment -- the essence of country living -- is much more than visual beauty. It also calls for the sounds of country, including the buzz of bees.

"Country living is not just about creating a garden with pretty blooms," says Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director for the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. "It's about providing plants that have a purpose, bring in native pollinators, and open the door to a landscape teeming with wildlife."

In sterile suburban landscapes, the only bee many people know is the European honeybee, and even honeybee sighting are becoming rarer as hives fall to diseases like Colony Collapse Disorder.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 species of native American bees go about their business unnoticed. And what fascinating bees they are -- from burly bumblebees humming over cranberry bogs, to Southeastern blueberry bees buzz-pollinating by shaking the blooms, to squash bees that take a siesta in the flowers after their pollen delivery shift is over.

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