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Feed the bees next spring with bulbs from this year’s Fall Gardeners’ Gathering

Spring blooming bulbs like daffodils are favored by gardeners as they are a signal that the soil has warmed, and the landscape is coming alive. Despite the bountiful daffodils seen around town, the few spring blooming flowers popping up have a big job feeding bees and pollinators. These bees have overwintered in the ground and garden debris, and now they are hungry and ready to start their nests.

Feed them next spring by planting bulbs this fall. Don’t know which bulbs to plant or how to plant bulbs? University of Illinois Extension Woodford County Master Gardeners will give you tips at their Fall Gardeners’ Gathering event. With registration to this Saturday, October 2nd morning event, each participant will get a bag of the bulbs highlighted during the program to take home and plant – a win-win for Woodford County gardeners and Woodford County bees!

The garden day event will be held from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Roanoke United Methodist Church right in the heart of Woodford County located at 401 N. Church Street in Roanoke. Topics and presentations of the day includes:

  • Bunny Randall, Woodford County Master Gardener, will quiz the audience on truths and myths of planting and growing spring blooming bulbs. Bunny will dispel growing myths by revealing the latest research.
  • Kelly Allsup, Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, presents Bulbs for Bees. Springtime is an important time for bees to feed and make nests. Learn how to help our native bees by planting spring blooming bulbs in your garden.
  • Cathy Montgomery, Livingston County Master Gardener, will demonstrate braiding garlic for curing and storage, and illustrate the growing requirements for a bounty of garlic. Montgomery likes growing garlic because it is easy, and she wants the vibrant flavors of homegrown garlic when cooking.
  • Linda Simpson, Woodford County Master Gardener, wants to bring back an enchanting and old fashioned native blooming bulb called Camassia.
  • Lisa Garber, Woodford County Master Gardener, shares the success of the Garden of Giving. Learn how the Master Gardeners lend their expertise to help this church community garden donate pounds of produce to food banks and contribute to pollinator science.

Pre-registration is required and available online at, or by stopping by or calling the Woodford County Extension Office at 309-467-3789. Space is limited. The $25 registration fee includes 5 short presentations, colorful handouts, and a collection of spring blooming bulbs ready for you to take home to plant. Check-in and light refreshments will be available at 8:30 a.m. Workshops begin at 9:00 a.m. These events will operate in accordance with current and ongoing University of Illinois, Center for Disease Control, and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.

If you will need an accommodation in order to participate, please contact staff at the Woodford County Extension Office at the number above. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Spring bulbs with bee
Help feed the bees next spring by planting bulbs this fall. (University of Illinois Extension)

Photo Caption: Help feed the bees next spring by planting bulbs this fall. Learn why and how to plant bulbs by attending the fall edition of Gardeners’ Gathering in Roanoke on October 2! (University of Illinois Extension)

SOURCE/WRITER: Kelly Allsup, Horticulture Educator, Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties; 309-663-8306 or

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.