Bees are vital pollinators and we should do the best we can to create a bee-friendly environment in our gardens.
Bees and humans have long since been connected, in folk stories and myths throughout history. Some believe that bees bring good fortune and are a good omen when they visit.
Now, over the past decade, we have witnessed a decline in the number of bees. Most of this is due to the use of pesticides, diseases and urbanisation.
Here’s how to invite more of these busy buzzers into our backyards.
Limit the use of pesticides
Pesticides are known to be harmful to bees.
So if you want these friendly buzzers to visit your garden and help with pollination, you want to avoid using pesticides.
We’re thinking you want your garden to be buzzing with activity, providing honey bees with nectar.
To keep your garden in harmony with nature, pesticides are a total no-no.
Reduce hybrid flowers
As much as we love our plant hybrids, unfortunately, they can often result in a loss of nectar.
Honey bees require nectar to be able to make honey.
Unfortunately, planting hybrids may go against this noble bee mission.
You want to reduce the amount of hybrids in your garden, and in doing so, you will be inviting bees which will help your flowers grow through pollination.
Let plants flower
To invite your bee friends over for a sip at the flowers, then you should let your vegetables and herbs bloom.
Remember, bees collect the nectar from the flowers in plants.
So, create a friendly environment for them to stop and do their thing.
Provide some shelter
Where the weather can get windy, you are advised to provide an area that is sheltered with flowers.
Providing a place where bees can stop and interact with the flowers without interruption, helping bees in their task of creating honey.
You can use trellises to create a sheltered area in your garden.
This is also great if you need a spot for privacy in your garden.
Plant similar flowers in clusters
This trick will provide the bees with a one-stop shop to be(e) themselves.
If you are afraid of bees buzzing all over your garden, then creating a specific area with flowers will help them get their job done without causing a nuisance.
There should be a variation in the types and heights of flowers you are planting.
This offers the bees an ideal playground to do what they do best, pollinate your garden.
Grow nectar flowers
Plant winter flowering plants so as to invite bees over in the colder months.
Plants such as aloes and red-hot pokers are nectar-rich and are great winter bloomers.
This helps bees to be productive even in the colder winter months.
Your garden should be buzzing with bee activity the whole year round.
Now you have the lowdown on how to create a bee-friendly garden. Let’s hope you’ll soon be getting a visit from honey bees in your garden.
Featured image: Pexels
Adapted from an article published in the February 2023 edition of SA Garden&Home Magazine