Welcome to southeastern Virginia, specifically the Tidewater region! We love our sandy soil near the coast, but a little further inland, the easy digging can come to an abrupt end when you hit clay or a clay blend. Planting in the clay soil that Hampton Roads has to offer is difficult, and establishing plants is even harder. I hear many friends say they have a black thumb and then give up. In reality, they are just dealt a poor hand.
This article is intended to bring attention to local pollinators, and show how focusing on honey bees does not solve "the bee problem".
Managed honey bees are not in decline.
Most people know the danger that honeybees face, and I have been wondering for years if honeybees are in danger of extinction. I'll preface this by saying- I’m not a scientist or a botanist. These are my observations from studying this situation over the years. The bottom line is, from the research I have found, honeybees are not in true danger of becoming extinct.
I have a chart below documenting the total number of colonies in the United States. It does indeed indicate fluctuation in the number of national colonies, but not with enough variance to support colony collapse disorder (CCD) as a widespread threat. It actually shows an increase in the total number of colonies. I believe that the continued awareness regarding pollinators as a whole has been beneficial, but could also have the potential to be used for other agendas. Again, the net publicity has been good- but it can also have some side effects (which I cover a bit later on).
My personal reasoning.
I have to be completely honest with y'all- I have a personal grudge against Nandinas. I grew up spending hours weeding these guys out of garden beds. The little offshoots were a complete pain to remove, so I vowed to never plant this not-so-Heavenly Bamboo Nandina years ago.
There are however, more reasons to avoid landscaping with Nandinas - besides my personal distaste for the plant. I'll get into their negative ecological impact below, but go talk to most seasoned landscapers, and they would likely admit that all the different varieties of Nandina are way overused in landscapes.
About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!