Do you have fruit trees that used to fruit well but are no longer producing much or any fruit? Perhaps your vegetable garden winds tiverton series 3 gazebo replacement canopy riplock 350_700048 isn?t as lush as it once was, with fewer vegetables or smaller, misshapen ones. Before you dig out the fertilizer, or give up all together, call in the air force: bees.
Attracting bees to the garden is like hiring a work force of full-time gardeners to help produce the strongest, most beautiful plants and healthiest vegetables. These hardworking insects, along with , are the smartest thing you can cultivate in your garden, because they will do much of the work for you. Follow these simple steps to create your own bee-friendly garden.
What Should I Plant to Attract Bees?
The first step is to choose plants for your garden that attract bees and plant them in a sunny spot. There are so many varieties out there of flowering plants that bees love, and they differ between climates. One way you can figure out what plants to choose for your garden is to visit a nursery and look for the bees. Observe which plants they are buzzing around at the garden center and bring a bunch of them home.
And here is another tip: it?s better to plant a number of the same plants than many different varieties as bees are attracted to larger expanses of one kind of flower.
To quickly create an instant bee garden in your yard, purchase an annual bee wildflower seed mix and spread them around your garden. The seeds in bee mixes are chosen because bees love them, but also because they bloom in succession. Scatter the seeds in the perennial garden or in a few pots to set around the garden, and they will keep the bees happy all summer long.
Here are some tried-and-true plants that bees love:
Make a Bee Bath
Creating a bee-friendly garden means more than just planting flowers. You certainly want to attract them with gorgeous blooms, but while they are in your garden you will want to give them a place to drink. It?s easy to make a simple bee water feeder that looks nice in the garden.
Add rocks to a shallow dish or bowl so that they sit above clean water to give the bees a place to perch. If you have a problem with aphids, the water will attract beneficial insects so place the dish near the plant with the aphid problem to help them wash down the feast! For detailed instructions on how to make a bee bath, head over to
Make a Bee House
To attract beneficial wild bees to your garden, give them a place to nest and breed. A bug hotel is a place for solitary insects like solitary bees, solitary wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, and more to overwinter. You won?t have to worry about it becoming a hornets? nest though, as the hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps that are usually a nuisance in the summer build their own hives somewhere near your house ( that might help in that case).
A bug hotel is a place for wild, solitary, beneficial insects. You can by filling a wood box with rolls of paper or cut bamboo reeds, or buy one that looks as beautiful as it is functional. Read more about bug hotels .
Don?t Sting Me!
Bees often get a bad reputation from being confused with wasps. Bees are gentle creatures that only sting to defend themselves from harm such as being grabbed or trampled. Wasps can be a bit more aggressive, but even so, unless you provoke them, they won?t start attacking you. Bees and wasps don?t get angry, they simply defend themselves. Show them respect and care and you should not get stung.
I saw this honeybee swarm at UBC Farm and it was quite a sight to see! And hear. The buzzing was like music. And while this many bees might be frightening to some, these little workers are gentle creatures just looking for a new home. Bees swarm when they outgrow the hive (or there is something wrong with their hive). Usually, a thriving hive will get quite large and create a new queen. The new queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. If you see a swarm like this in your garden, get in touch with your local beekeeping association. They will have the resources to help find these bees a home.
Be Careful Where You Dig
If you have ever woken up a sleepy bumblebee in your garden, you know that many of them bury themselves in the ground for the winter. Believe it or not, most bees are ground bees ? over 70% of all species of bees nest underground in conical-shaped mounds in the soil. In the spring, they wake up and groggily fly around and start pollinating all of the early fruit crops. So, if you want fruit in the summer, then roll out the red carpet for the ground bees (and watch where you dig).
Avoid Pesticides, Protect the Bees
It goes without saying that an organic garden is better for bees. Using pesticides in your garden will only continue to hurt the bee population and kill the pollinators that will help you grow healthy, strong plants. If you would like some pesticide-free pest control ideas, check out
Even More on Beneficial Insects:
With bees and other pollinator populations at risk, it?s important that we do what we can to help out local bugs and birds. Planting the flowers that they need is an easy way to help these critters out, and you can do it even in a small container garden. As a bonus, if you attract pollinators to your yard they will help the rest of your garden grow and produce better crops, deter pests, and provide you with hours of amusement as you watch bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds flit around.
Growing plants that attract pollinators is good for them, you, and your garden. Lending pollinators a helping hand by providing them with a food source in the garden means that they will help your garden grow through pollination and help out by eating up some pests while they?re at it.
That?s why I put together this instant pollinator garden kit, which includes small-space plants that attract beneficial bugs and birds and a two-story insect hotel.
This beneficial bug hotel provides a safe space in your garden for insects to develop from egg to adulthood, where they can facilitate the reproduction of flowering plants.
The top section of this hotel is for solitary bees to pollinate your garden. The bottom section is for lacewings and ladybugs, all of which will act as beneficial protectors by preying on garden pest insects. The roof provides weather protection and is built to last outdoors through inclement weather.
Now, here are the seeds that I chose to include in my Patio Pollinators Garden Kit. These plants are that are great for small spaces and containers and are sure to attract a crowd of beneficial insects to your garden.
I chose the seeds very carefully, with help from an entomologist and a flower farmer, both of whom work at where the seed collection is exclusively available.
Asian Garden Celosia
This celosia is a pollinator magnet for the whole season! Its bright pink spikes bloom all summer long, holding up even through early frosts. Celosias thrive in high-heat situations and produce long-lived blooms that add color to gardens and combination planters for the majority of the gardening season. Attracts: bumblebees and other wild bees.
Summer Jewel? Lavender Salvia
Hummingbirds love this pretty purple plant! Salvia Summer Jewel flowers early and produces generous spikes that continue to blossom from spring to autumn. Plants are densely branched, producing a tidy habit that thrives in both garden beds and containers. Attracts: honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Purple Majesty Ornamental Millet
This pretty plant makes an excellent focal point that attracts bees and looks amazing in the garden or planted in a container. Gorgeous deep purple foliage and stems add interest even when it?s not blooming, and the dramatic flower plumes make for a vibrant display. Plant these behind shorter plants for an eye-catching display. Attracts: bees.
Super Hero Spry Marigold
Deep red flowers with vibrant orange centers are visually stunning, and they are like a beacon to mid-summer bumblebees. This marigold variety is ideal as a standalone in planters or as an accent filler in mixed containers. Attracts: bumblebees.
Profusion Double Hot Cherry Zinnia
The vibrant cherry-red color of this bold zinnia does not fade! The intense red hue will encourage butterflies, moths, and bees to visit your garden. This highly prolific bloomer grows exceptionally well in planters due to its combined tolerance for both cool and hot, humid conditions. Attracts: bees, butterflies, and moths.
Sparkler Blush Cleome
Gorgeous pink and white flower spikes will attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The delicate colors and unique shape makes this a beautiful focal point for any container. This Cleome is a dwarf variety that grows to about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of traditional Cleomes, yet it still attracts a host of pollinators! Attracts: bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
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