Bees are a vital part of gardening. Without their pollination powers, many of our plants would not grow. The more bees you attract, the more fruit and veggies you’ll harvest. While it would be ideal to have a beehive in your yard, this isn’t possible for everyone. However, you don’t need to own a hive to have a bee-filled garden. Here are some simple ways to attract more bees to your yard.
Plant bee-licious flowers. The easiest way to attract bees to your garden is to plant flowers that are well-known bee favorites. Here are some examples:
Make a bee bath. Like any other living thing, bees require a water source. You might think that a bird bath will do. However, the water in bird baths is too deep for bees. They need something dry to land on. That way, they can stand on dry land and carefully access the water they need. To make a bee bath, put rocks in a shallow container. Fill with water, allowing the tops of the rocks to remain above the water. Scott made this bee bath by “upcycling” an old frying pan.
Brighten things up a bit. Bees prefer flowers that are white, blue, purple, violet, and yellow. Try to add each of these to your garden.
Offer ongoing blooms. If all of the flowers in your garden bloom at the same time, you will only have bees for a short period. Try to include plants in your garden that will bloom at different times, so that you always have flowers available for the bees. This will keep them coming back throughout the season.
Plant single-petal flowers. Make it easy for bees to reach the pollen of your flowers. Plant some single-petal flowers in your garden. Here are some suggestions:
Avoid using pesticides. This is pretty straightforward. Try to go organic as much as possible. Pesticides don’t just kill bugs that harm your garden, they kill the good ones, too. Contact us to find out more about natural remedies for deterring harmful bugs.
Grow local plants. Bees like plants that they’re familiar with. To attract local bees, you should grow local plants. The National Wildlife Federation offers a wonderful resource for finding native plants, where you can search by zip code.
Group your blooms. Don’t force bees to travel far from bloom to bloom. Group flowers close together to allow bees to easily hop from flower to flower.
Go wild. Don’t over-prune your plants or mow your lawn too often. Let things go a little wild. Mason bees like rotting wood and require mud to make their home. Leave a pile of sticks around. Don’t mulch 100% of your garden beds. Try to give up a corner of your yard to let the mason bees thrive.
Bee careful. If you search for ways to attract wild bees, you may find that some suggest building “bee hotels.” Be careful! Some will attract wasps and other unwanted pests. Also, parasites can take over the hotel, killing any bees that are staying there. The goal is to attract and help bees, not harm them. Bee hotels aren’t always the answer. Do your research!
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