Create the Perfect Oasis for Bees and Pollinators
Inviting an array of bees into your own backyard is simple when you plant your favorite flowers. By providing nectar and pollen as food and creating shelters in your garden space, you will create a new habitat for bees.
Here are 5 easy steps to help you plan your Pollinator-Friendly Garden!
1. Plan for Blooms Year-Round
Plant at least three types of flowers so you enjoy blooms through as many seasons as possible. This will provide bees and pollinators with a consistent source of food. Some examples include:
- Crocus, hyacinth and wild lilac provide enticing spring blooms.
- Bees feast on bee balm, cosmos, foxglove and hosta in the summer.
- For fall, zinnias, sedum and goldenrod are excellent options.
- Mexican heather blooms pretty much all year long. Another bee-utiful option is the butterfly bush. It’s also so fun to watch wave up and down as the slender stalks get weighed down by pollinators.
2. Select Single Flower Tops
Double headed flowers provide a lot of flower power but they produce much less nectar and make it much more difficult for bees to access pollen. Stick with single flower tops like daisies and marigolds over double impatiens.
3. Plant a Group of each Flower Species
Plant a bed or row of a particular flower instead of scattered plants. This will attract bees more easily than scattered plants. However, even a small Bee-Friendly Garden will help the bees so don’t shy away from small spaces. Even a window container or a rooftop makes a great space for a bee garden.
4. Build a Bee Bath
Bees need water. They use water for cooling – similar to human-designed air conditions. They gather it heavily in the hot summer months to use for evaporative cooling in the hive. They also use water to control the humidity in the hive and mix it with honey and pollen to feed the larva. There are a lot of ways to add a water feature to you bee garden. Fill a shallow container of water with pebbles or twigs for the bees to land on while drinking. It’s important to maintain the container, keeping it fresh and full of water. Bees know they can return to the same spot every day in your bee garden, which is super cool.
5. No Insecticides!
Avoid using herbicides or pesticides in your bee garden. We like to suggest looking into organic or mechanical methods first. However, if you really have to use a chemical insecticide, choose one that has low toxicity for bees, apply it when bees are not active (such as at night or on a cold day) and avoid spraying the flowers of the plant. Please follow the label and always stay away from seven dust which sticks to the bees like pollen.
Have FUN Saving the Bees!
Learn to identify the different species of bees and butterflies that visit your garden so that you get a more fulfilled experience while providing a great and safe home for bees and all pollinators.