People who don’t have bee-friendly gardens could become quite irritated with bees buzzing around doors and windows. When bees make their way into homes or create nests near doorways, calling the local pest controller is often the only solution.
However, one of the few insects homeowners are encouraged to save and protect are bees. If prepared properly a section of your garden can easily become a bee haven. Or your pest control specialist can take it somewhere they will be safe.
Why Are Australia’s Native Bees Important?
You might have seen the emphasis on saving bees in recent years. The main reason bees are important is because they pollinate a wide variety of agricultural crop species. This in turn allows crops to keep growing year after year.
Why Are Bee Populations Currently Under Threat?
There are 3 simple reasons why native bees are currently under threat. These include:
- Excessive pesticide use on crops and in gardens
- Urbanidation resulting in flowerless gardens and concrete environments
- Destruction of their natural habitats
Simple Steps to Make Your Garden Bee-Friendly
Many people have taken it upon themselves to go the extra mile to save bees. The easiest way to do this is to make your garden bee-friendly. But, just how do you do it? Read on for a few easy steps to turn a small section of your garden into a bee haven.
Identify a Dedicated Section of the Garden
If you don’t want bees buzzing all over the place, you might need to identify where in the garden you can create your bee sanctuary. A good idea would be to position your bee area away from doors and windows. Doing this will keep children, pets and others in the house fairly safe.
Choose Native Plants that Flower Year Round
Bees need nectar throughout the year. Invest in plants that flower all year round. Alternatively, plant a variety of plants that will flower in different seasons. In addition to providing pollen and nectar for the bees, you’ll also increase the beauty of your garden. We’ve added a section further down in the article with a few of the more popular plant options.
Opt for a Wide Variety of Colours and Shapes
Bees aren’t limited to one species. With that in mind, it stands to reason that different bee species enjoy different flower choices. To accommodate as many bee species as possible, plant a variety of bright colours as well as a wide selection of flower shapes.
Group Your Flowers
Planting flowers randomly won’t be as successful as planting different groups of blooms together. This will be more likely to attract different bee species.
Additionally, bees also need plant materials to build their nests. Aside from planting flowers and shrubs that provide nectar and pollen, plant a few plants that can provide nest materials. Rose bushes are a popular option since their leaves make good nesting materials.
Avoid Using Pesticides
One of the biggest mistakes people make in their gardens is using pesticides. Using pesticides won’t only kill bees but other garden creatures that make up your garden’s ecosystem. If there are instances where you absolutely have to use pestcides, speak to your pest controller for a bee-friendly option. When spraying your plants, never spray the flowers directly.
Add a Water Source
It’s important to provide a water source. Bees are small and can drown easily if their water source is too big or deep. To prevent drowning, fill a shallow dish with cool water. Add a few rocks that will rise above the water so the bees have a place to land. Keep the bee watering dish off the ground and in a shady area.
Top 4 Bee-Friendly Plants to Add to Your Garden
Deciding to plant bee-friendly plants in your garden is one of the best decisions you can make to help save the local bee populations. Some of the top bee-friendly plants include the following:
- Lavender: Aside from having a delightful fragrance, lavender plants are also high in nectar. Another advantage is that lavender flowers all-year-round.
- Bottlebrush Callisteon: The Bottlebrush Callisteon is great for hedges and can grow up to 4m tall.
- Sage: An easy addition to any garden should be any plant from the Sage Salvia Officinalis family. They require little care and brighten up any space.
- Grevillia Pink Surprise: A wide variety of sizes makes this plant easy to plant as ground covers or even taller shrubs. The advantage is that it flowers all year round and comes in a variety of colours.
Turning your garden into a bee-friendly environment is one of the easiest ways to keep the bees in a designated area. Doing this will prevent them from causing much harm elsewhere and it won’t be necessary for your local pest controller to have to remove them.
With some careful planning, your garden bees will have a space of their own without being a hindrance to your family. Do your bit for the environment by giving Australia’s native bees a safe place to live!