2 UMass gardens receive awards for being bee-friendly

It's estimated that 40 percent to 50 percent of bee colonies in the U.S. have died across within the last few years.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Two gardens at UMass Amherst have received awards for providing plants and clean water to keep our local bees healthy.

The two gardens awarded are the Pollinator Garden at the Agricultural Learning Center, and the Franklin Permaculture Garden.

22News cameras caught bees looking for food at these gardens. Rob Aspinwall of the UMass Beekeeping Club told 22News that anyone can create their own bee-friendly environments at home.

“One of the things people can do is plant flowers, look up on the internet what flowers are good for pollination,” Aspinwall explained. “If they don’t want to actually keep their own bees, then a good way to supplement them is to plant flowers in your own garden.”

Hyacinth and wild lilac flowers are great for bees. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4,000 native bee species in the U.S. pollinate 75 percent of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Bees worldwide are in danger because of pesticide use, disease, and habitat loss. It’s estimated that 40 percent to 50 percent of bee colonies in the U.S. have died across within the last few years.