Create a Bee Buffet
It is a well known fact that bees and other pollinators are under threat. One of the main factors contributing to this is the changes in our landscape structure. Massive urban settlements ‘concrete jungles’ and intensive farming practices are gradually destroying natural vegetation.
Bees provide us with food rich in vitamins and minerals so why not return the favor and plant a bee buffet in your garden.
Just as we need a variety of food sources to stay healthy and productive so do bees. Having a bee friendly garden does not mean it must be messy, even formal gardens can be filled with bee friendly plants.
The first step is to plan ahead.
Think about the climate of the region you live in. Monitor the area for sun and shade spots. This will give you a head start when you are choosing plants.
Be sure to choose at least ten different varieties that attract bees, anything right from trees down to ground covers can be included. Add some indigenous plants in your selection. Bees have evolved with indigenous plants so they provide nutrients that the bees are familiar with.
Try to have flowering plants in your garden all year round this ensures that the bees have a constant food source.
When spraying be sure to do so when plants are not flowering, most insecticides have a strong scent and this will over power the natural fragrance of the flower.
Prepare the area before bringing home your plants. Wet the ground and mix in compost. When planting add a handful of bone meal or super phosphate to promote strong root growth.
For smaller gardens you can plant into containers, the bees don’t mind. You can also add climbing creepers which do not take up a lot of space and hanging baskets filled with seasonal flowers.
Leave a shallow bowl of water with rocks or sticks in so that the bees don’t drown.
When next visiting the nursery be sure to look out for our ‘Planting for bees’ markers which are placed with the plants that attract bees.