You probably make a clear distinction between the types of flowers in your garden. There are those you've planted and nurtured, and there are those that are in fact weeds which happen to produce flowers. To you, there's a clear difference. Insect pollinators such as bees may be less discerning. How can you eliminate these weeds without eliminating bees?

Bees and Herbicides

Herbicides that are lethal to bees can be dangerously effective, since studies have found that some herbicides actively attract bees, who are then poisoned. It might seem like a few dead bees is a small price to pay, but the global bee population is declining, and quite rapidly too. If all the various subspecies of bees were to die out, the results would be catastrophic. In essence, even something as simple as removing weeds from your garden should be done with the wellbeing of the local bee population in mind.

Safe for Pollinators

Bee-friendly weed control doesn't even require much of a specialised approach. Yes, you could concoct your own bee-safe herbicide using household ingredients, but unless this appeals to you, you don't really need to create extra work for yourself. There are a range of bee-friendly herbicides on the market, which should be labelled as such. Herbicides with atrazine as their active ingredient are usually safe for insects. Insect pollinators will still come into contact with the herbicide, but won't be harmed by the encounter.

Larger Scale Weed Removal

This same basic principle applies when hiring a gardening company to handle your backyard weed control. Just inform them that the chosen herbicide must be bee-friendly, and they'll use a product with a wetting agent that doesn't block the bees trachea (such as herbicides which use atrazine as their active ingredient). Bee-friendly weed control isn't exactly an offbeat request, and any gardening company will have a range of options that suit your purposes. And depending on your needs, herbicides may not be needed, or may only be needed sparingly.

Flame Weeding

The best approach is determined by the nature and location of weed growth, but flame weeding may be possible. This is when the weeds are incinerated by controlled bursts of fire from a small handheld flamethrower. Larger weeds with developed root systems may need several treatments before all growth stops, but adding a pre-emergence (soil-applied) herbicide can help to prevent regrowth. And since this herbicide is added directly to the soil, the chances of it making contact with insect pollinators are slim.

You don't want those weeds to remain in your garden, but you don't want to kill any bees either. With the right approach, you can eliminate the weeds in your backyard without endangering the fragile bee population. Look into weed control for more information.