Bees in the Garden

By now most of us have heard about insect biodiversity loss which is happening around the globe. You have probably also heard that bees, one of the most important pollinators, have also been reported as ‘bee’ing (yes – I made a funny) in decline.

With such sad news it is hard to keep the chin the high. But that is why I am writing articles for this blog, in the hope that people will get ideas on the little things they can do to help change the world. And one of the things that we can do is in the garden – and relates to bees (and not just the commonly known honeybee).

Flowers

You can very easily plant plants in your garden that will attract not just bees, but also other pollinators. This provides a valuable food source for bees and is becoming increasingly important in a ever expanding urbanised landscape. The types of plants that should be plant will vary depending on the locality you are in. Do your research into the bees that could be in your local area and research flowering plants accordingly. One suggestion, if I may, is aim on planting a variety of plant species that flower across different seasons. Even if you do your research you may miss species and planting a wide range of species increases your likelihood of planting for those bee species that you may have missed.

Pesticides

Numerous scientific articles have shown the negative effects of pesticides on bees.

Therefore, do not use them. I know, I know. I hear your thoughts (or angry, cursing). “What about those (insert insect that eat’s vegetables/fruit). I can’t grow a decent tomato without a good old pesticide.” True, this will remove those nasty pests that eat your carrots when they are growing but it will also have a negative effect on other populations of insects. The pesticides can even make their way up the food chain to other animals that we may eat (rabbit, cow, chicken). For the good of all, use alternative, environmentally friendly methods to reduce pest insect numbers in your garden.

Capture

Bee friendly habitat

Different species of bees will live in different types of habitats (and can be found within the garden). This will be dependant on bee species and the area in which you live. For those just starting out the placing a bee/insect hotel will help increase the biodiversity of bees/insects in your garden. You can make your own or buy (most likely from a local hardware store).

Capture

Alternatively you could get creative and make your own hotel.

Old TV turned into an insect motel – Photo credit Marilyn Rogers

You may also want to build or purchase your own native bee hive. This process can be costly and expensive. However, once you have one hive successfully established, you can very easily make more.

In short:

  • Planting a variety of flowering plants will help with increasing food sources for your bees
  • Reduction in pesticides will help to reduce bee and insect biodiversity loss.
  • Establishing bee friendly habitat will allow for an increase in bee biodiversity and overall bee numbers in all areas (urban and rural).

3 thoughts on “Bees in the Garden

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