Are bees swarming your garden? That’s a good sign! Bees as natural pollinators play an important role in plants reproduction. If you look closely, when bees are collecting pollen and nectar from a flower, some pollen from the stamens (male reproductive organ of a flower) got stuck onto the bees hair/leg and when they land on another flower, the pollen got rubbed off onto the stigma (female reproductive organ of a flower). This process may lead to fertilisation which allows fruits to grow.
So yep, you do want bees in our garden – especially if you are trying to grow vegetables or fruits!
Fun fact: when foraging for pollen and nectar, worker bees could fly as far as 24 km from the hive.
If you are already nurturing a bee-friendly garden, good on ya! For those of you who want to start, here are a few tips to help you build a sanctuary for our friendly pollinators:
- Diversify your garden with different flowers that bloom at a different time of the year.
Ensuring your garden is flowering at all times would provide bees with a continuous food source. Research also shows that bees are more attracted to blue, purple, violet, white and yellow colored flowers.
- Provide a bee bath. Bees need a substantial amount of water to keep them going. To help to keep them hydrated during their food run, place water in a shallow container (not as deep as a birdbath) filled with pebbles. This will minimise the risk of bees drowning in the bath.
- Decorate your garden with bee hotels. Yes, bee hotels are a thing. It provides bees with shade and shelter. It is not a hive, so don’t expect to find some honey from a bee hotel!
- Use bee-friendly pesticides and fertilisers. Gardens that attract bees will also attract other insects like butterflies, ladybugs or praying mantis. These other insects can harm your beautifully grown garden, especially during the caterpillar season in the warmer weather. Always use natural pesticides and fertilisers to make sure you are not hurting the bees.
- Grow from seeds. More and more people are encouraged to plant seeds in their garden. This method is not only cheap but also help in creating a great habitat for bees! For a beginner, try Mr Frothergill’s Bee Friendly Flower Mix to create a bee-friendly flower bed in your yard.