Cooper Park is BEE-utiful

Some of Cooper Park’s purple cone flowers with happy bees. Photo Credit: Lori Ann Doyon

The work of pollinators is of the upmost importance and yields beautiful results.  So, it is no wonder that the Friends of Cooper Park have offered up some bee-friendly areas in Cooper Park.  Back in late May they planted three plots of a pollinator garden along Morgan Avenue by and in between the basketball and tennis courts with help from Partnership for Parks and the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance.  Then in early June they got a bee house thanks to the Bee Conservancy.

Friend of Cooper Park members Paul Kelterborn and Sarah Sheffield (back row l to r) with volunteers setting up the bee house

A bee house?  What is a bee house?  A bee house serves two purposes: it could be a rest stop for honey bees on their way to and from their hive, and it offers homes to a variety of solitary bees also known as native bees.  Solitary bees may not get as much press as honey bees (possibly because they don’t make honey), but “native bees such as the mason bee are more efficient at pollination than honeybees.  It takes about two hundred and fifty mason bees to pollinate one acre of apple trees.  It would take approximately ten thousand to two hundred fifty-thousand honeybees to accomplish the same task,” states Kansas State University’s Research and Extension web page.

A look inside the bee house Photo Credit: Lori Ann Doyon

On the last weekend of summer, the Friends of Cooper Park installed lovely illustrated signs indicating their pollinator gardens thanks to funding from the City Gardens Club of New York.  Plus the cone flowers in peak bloom were overdoing their job feeding the pollinators.  “It makes me so happy to see the bees all about the cone flowers,” said Sarah Sheffield, one of the Friends of Cooper Park.

Photo Credit: Lori Ann Doyon

If you’d like to help the Friends of Cooper Park tend the gardens, you can join their Weekend Weeders and meet at the tennis courts at 9 a.m. for an hour any Saturday; they have gloves and tools.  Also on October 2 it is time to plant the daffodils — the meet up for this is at the tennis courts, and they will be planting from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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