Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
To achieve great fruit and veggie yields from our home gardens, we invest in developing rich soils. We take time to plant seeds, transplant starts, and monitor our crops daily from the moment we plant the seed to the heady days of harvest to the moment, at the end of each season, when we deposit spent annuals into our compost heap. Yet, often food gardeners forget or simply overlook another garden worker, without which our fruit-bearing edible crops would yield next to nothing.
That worker? Why, she’s tiny honeybee.
Honeybees are credited with pollinating around 70% of our food crops. And, sadly, their numbers are in decline. Why bee populations are dwindling continues to be a subject of investigation. And, until there’s a rock-solid answer, there are a few simple things home gardeners can do to attract bees to their gardens and help improve their prosperity and longevity.
Begin by creating habitat that honeybees love. Start by growing diverse plantings that offer pollen and nectar all year long. In areas where your food crops grow, augment your beds with herbs like Oregano and Thyme to which they’ll make a beeline. Not only will you be feeding the bees their favorite foods, but you will also lure them close to edibles like tomatoes, which they might not otherwise visit. Too, pop several sunflower seeds into the ground in spring. When the bees visit them in summer to gather pollen, their harvest will help produce your own protein-rich seed crop come fall.
Expand your bee-friendly habitat by setting out slow-moving or regularly changed water sources. Honeybees collect water to drink and to use to cool their hives in summer.
And, resist the urge to use herbicides and pesticides in your garden. More and more, scientific reports are indicating that their use is negatively impacting these sweet, beneficial insects.
While attracting bees of all kinds is a great place to start, some gardeners choose to take the plunge into keeping honeybee hives in the garden. Keeping bees can be a complicated and expensive enterprise. Laws vary from location-to-location, so always check into that before you do anything else. Then, consider joining a local beekeeping association where you can learn more about the daily in’s and out’s of maintaining an apiary. The Xerces society is a great place to begin getting information.
If the thought of purchasing equipment, checking a hive several times a week, and potentially being stung on a regular basis makes you wary, ask around to see if any local beekeepers offer “hive hosting” opportunities. Hive hosts are the residential landowners who offer an ideal garden setting for honeybee hives, which a beekeeper installs and manages. Once the hives are installed in a host location, the host likely pays a beekeeper a small fee to manage bees throughout the season. In return, hosts like myself, are rewarded with fantastic pollination, never-ending entertainment via hive activity, and several bottles of local honey delivered by the beekeeper.
What to do with that honey once you’ve got it?
If honey has never been a part of your diet, you may wish to check with your doctor before adding it in. Diabetics may wish to avoid honey altogether due to its high glycemic index. Also, young children should never be given honey until cleared by a doctor. Once your medical practitioner gives you the okay, here are some tasty ways to enjoy it.
A glob of raw honey, savored right off the spoon, is a delicious way to satisfy a sweet craving. Plus, honey can offer a number of medicinal benefits, especially if it is left unheated. A bit mixed with lemon or cinnamon can help sooth sore throats and colds.
Or, go ahead and let it warm up by swirling it into a simple cup of flowers (aka tea).
One of my favorite treats:Toast thinly sliced bread until crisp. Slather on a thick layer of toasted sunflower butter. (Perhaps made from your own seed harvest!) Then, drizzle honey over the top. Yum!