Butterflies, frogs, small mammals and the honeybee all enjoy your backyard as much as you do. They are an integral part of nature and can actually help you garden.
The honeybee is the world's best pollinator. More than one third of all food crops in the US are pollinated by honeybees. They reduced in population recently due to Colony Collapse Disorder which contributed to a drastic rise in food prices in 2007 to '08. Some beekeepers think CCD is due to habitat loss and pesticides.
With access to a yard, you can help, even if your yard is small. If everyone contributed a few square feet of space to flower gardening, the honeybee habitat would increase across the US.
Honeybees live on pollen and nectar from flowerheads so they require flowers that are good pollinators. When gardening, put in flat petaled flowers so the bees find it easier to reach the pollen. Wildflowers are a favorite of bees and variety helps attract them. Use tall and short mixes and go for multicolored plants. The more plant types, the better, too.
Honeybees don't hibernate, so try for a seasonal garden in your backyard. It will look nicer to the inhabitants and give plenty of housing to bees. Put in spring, summer and fall blooming plants and consider a winter crop. Even in northern climates, grasses and some vegetables will grow past frost.
Variation is key to an interesting yard and an attractive home to humans and bees alike. Keep the yard looking a little natural. Bees are like butterflies and other garden visitors and like a place to hide. Anything too pristine might keep them away. You can scatter twigs and leaves as a decorative item at the base of plants. An evergreen tree or shrub is a perfect all season plant that will do double duty as a honeybee hideaway.
Even in a small garden, there is plenty of opportunity to put in pollinating flowers to add to the honeybee habitat. Vegetable gardens are nearly as helpful as flowers. The blooms are very attractive to bees, particularly if the plants are going to seed.
Also, treat your yard like mother nature does and use organic treatments in the yard. It's not just healthier for you, the honeybees will thank you by helping in your garden. And the result might be reduced food prices. Your yard can help more than just your property line.