The important for bees as in the food ecosystem and food security more specifically cannot be overstated. Amongst other factors, climate change has impacted the areas in which bees can pollinate and in which colonies can thrive. This means that planting a bee-friendly garden should be a priority for us all!
Here are a few tips to creating a bee-friendly haven:
Select plants that attract bees – although this is self-explanatory, there are certain plants that are more attractive to bees than others. These include basil, sage, thyme, lavender, rosemary, hibiscus, aloes, cosmos, sunflowers, pot marigolds, ribbon bush.
Group the same plants together – ideally and subject to space restrictions, try and plant at least one square metre of the same type of plant together.
Pick plants with long blooming cycles –the longer the plants are in bloom, the more likely that the bees will come back for more. Also, plant flowers that bloom at different times, so you have pollen and nectar sources throughout the year.
Create a fresh water source – any shallow water source will do; a bird bath, a waterfall, a pool or even newly watered potted plants are good for bees. Making honey is thirsty business!
Avoid using pesticides or other chemicals – most chemicals are toxic for bees so avoid using these in your garden.
Weeds – flowering weeds are an important food source for bees so let them be!