Since You Asked: Save the bees, plant flowering perennials.

In response to a previous Since You Asked question from a reader who worried that he was seeing few honey bees and virtually no yellow jackets, a loyal SYA reader, Ellen W., of Medford, offered up a suggestion about how we all can help the bee population. And since we here at Since You Asked International are all about saving the world and leaping tall buildings, we offer it for your edification.

In response to the honeybee question: If you want to see honeybees and wild bees, keep a spray-free yard full of flowering perennials.

Late bloomers include Russian sage (a form of lavender), Blue Mist (caryopteris), salvias and verbenas. My Russian sage has dozens of honeybees despite our heavy smoke. It needs little water, but if you soak the roots weekly during the bloom period, it will keep putting out new flowers and attracting honeybees.