Three Ways To Bring All The Bees To Your Yard

18 March 2019

Karoline Gore explores the world of bees and brings us this enlightening article on how to encourage more bees to your home...

 

While the presence of bees has dramatically decreased in many areas (like the US), New Zealand has actually began to show a much stronger population. Winter months in New Zealand bring a loss of only 9.84%, versus 12% loss in the Northern hemisphere countries, according to recent studies. While just one colony of bees alone can pollinate about 300 million different beautiful flowers each day, they do much more than that. 30% of all food crops are produced by these little gardeners, along with 90% of all wild plants. As their numbers dwindle in many areas, it’s so important now more than ever for New Zealand to continue to support their repopulation, for both local plant life as well as maintaining economy.

 

Offer Bountiful Food 

If you’re aiming to aid your gardening efforts as well as save the bee population, offer them up a meal they just can’t refuse. Bees rely on pollen and nectar as their source of food, and while they aren’t super picky, some plants appeal to them more significantly. Shrubs, climbing plants, annuals, and perennials - a variety of plants attract bees. There’s something for all personalities and yards, so you’re bound to find plants that both you and the bees enjoy. There are over 700 beekeepers in New Zealand currently, so consider looking into native plants; they’re clearly quite successful.

 

Keep Things Natural

Once you have your bee-friendly plants all nestled in, it can be frustrating if you start noticing damage to them from pests. No matter how tempted you are, avoid pesticide treatments. These are poisons designed to get rid of plant pests, but they can be equally harmful to the bees. Instead, opt for a natural alternative to help keep your plants as well as your bees thriving. You can even look into strategically incorporating plants that ward off pests from the area naturally, like marigolds.

 

Consider Colour Coordination

Marigolds aren’t just a good option for pest defence; bees are also very drawn to their yellow and gold colours. In fact, bees have an affinity for a few hues, so you may want to plant an arrangement of colour-coordinated plant life to provide an even stronger attraction. Our buzzing buddies adore shades of yellow, blue, and purple flowers and plants. Morning glory vines are a nice variety for blue, and lilac bushes have beautiful purple flowers along with a wonderful fragrance - just to give you an idea. Colour-coordinating is also a super easy and fun task for kids, so pull them into the yard too! Aside from helping dig about in the dirt (fun for many youngsters), they can easily help with designing the colour patterns and choosing the locations for different segments of your floral rainbow.

 

No matter how you choose to go about it, supporting the humble bumble (and other varieties of bees, of course) is important for maintaining the pollination of plant life, which is vital to our world. Planting a bee-friendly garden is just one simple way to contribute.  Whether you’re beekeeping, gardening for food, or planting for decor, tailoring your yard to appeal to bees will surely lend a hand to your success. With the support your yard space can give to the bee population, you can add “environmentalist” to your profile as well.