Posted 18 Feb 19
Bee A Great Gardener With These Bee-Attracting Tips
by Ali Foster
Although bees sometimes get a bad rap, they are essential to our survival and the future of the Earth. 1 in 3 bites of your food is directly or indirectly derived from a honey bee. This is because they provide food to other animals and assist in the reproduction of some plants. However, despite the bee’s beneficial roles, their population is dwindling. Globally over the last 15 years, the planet has lost 30 to 90 percent of honey bee colonies as a direct result of human interference. Therefore, to pay these bees back, you can make a home for them in your garden. This will provide your garden with fresh plants, delicious food, and a beautiful look while also giving the critical insects a bee-approved place to live.
Avoiding the Circle of Life by Limiting Predators
When you gather a lot of bees in one area, it is bound to attract unwanted attention. Just like most things in nature, the honey bee has many predators. Common predators like spiders or reptiles set up shop near hives and attempt to catch as many bees as they can. Varroa mites specifically devastate a bee colony as they are parasitic to a hive. To avoid these mites as well as a bee’s typical predator, you should treat bee homes with natural pesticides such as lavender, citronella cinnamon, peppermint, or tea tree oil. There are also much more disruptive predators that can also make a large mess of a hive if it’s not properly protected. These larger animals such as foxes are after the bee’s honey and therefore a hive needs to be properly fenced off. Be sure that your garden has a fence around it to avoid these critters from attacking bee colonies as well as your beautiful flowers.
A Bee Bathhouse Invites the Colony
Like all living things, bees need water to survive. Water can help with a variety of processes the bees go through, such as keeping them cool or simply providing them with a cool drink on a hot day. Therefore to make your garden more eco-friendly for bees and other wanted animals, you should maintain a source of water. You can do this by adding a pond or water fountain to your garden, but you can also simply make a bathhouse for them. Put some water in a container such as a bowl, and fill it up with fresh water. Then add some rocks or wood around the water so that bees can sit and rest. Remember to change the water out every so often as stagnant water can get dirty very quickly.
The Right Plants for the Right Bees
Making sure you have the right plants in your garden can also be important for your bees because they have strict criteria for flowers. Bees cannot see the colour red, so they prefer to have blue, yellow, and white flowers around them. They also need plants that provide them with nectar. You should replace your lawn with cloves so that their blossoms can provide the nectar that the bees need. Bees can also get nectar from other plants such as fruit and maple trees or even weeds.
Bees are a great asset to the world. They are the best pollinators and craftsmen of honey and therefore provide food for animals. During their time of need, it’s important that we bring the populations back to a healthy standing so that our planet can continue to benefit from their help.